Published: June 9th 2012June 9th 2012
Left in the morning for the Acropolis, which is the giant complex of ruined buildings that sits far above Bergama. It was nice, I didn't have to walk up to the top: there was a brand new cable car that zips you up in 5 minutes or so.
Pergamum was once a very powerful kingdom (the Attalid Kingdom) some 2300 years ago. Then it became an important Roman town. So there's no lack of important ruins at the Acropolis. I started at the Altar of Zeus, which isn't much to look at, but this was where the famous Pergamum Altarpiece was taken from (it was taken to Berlin, and I saw the altarpiece last year at the Pergamum Museum). There's also an incredibly steep Roman amphitheatre that could hold 10,000 people! Another highlight was the Library. In its day, this was one of the most important libraries around, and held most of the ancient classics that we still read today (the ruler of Pergamum paid gold for copies of Aristotle - now that's someone I could like). There's also a partially reconstructed temple to the Roman Emperor Trajan.
Went back down the cable car in the early afternoon and
The Altar of Zeus
I know it's not much, but this was once a huge altar.
visited the Red Basilica, which is basically just a massive ruin of a church. I thought it was cool because this is one of the churches St. John describes in the Book of Revelations, which he wrote by the way just across the sea on the island of Patmos. To St. John, it was an evil church because it worshipped Egyptian gods. Anyway, there's a lot of history here.
It was hot today too - and I made the mistake of having a beer to try and cool off. In Turkey, they have Efes, which is a really good pilsner. It's pretty potent, though, and it comes in big portions, and when you add the heat, you're definitely going to get tired. Finally just had to reenergize myself by walking around town. Ended with a good dinner of lentil soup (which they serve with a lemon), and an interesting green pepper pizza.
There are more photos below