Situated on top of a mountain along the Turkish coastline and looking over the beautiful Aegean Sea sit the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Pergamon, cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the Seven Churches of Asia.
Although the majority of its monuments now sit in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, enough remains of the Acropolis for visitors to understand how this city once dominated the entire region, and how it rivalled Alexandria, Ephesus and Antioch in culture and commerce. In addition, advancements in science and medicine in Pergamon contributed greatly to today’s field of modern medicine, largely due to the efforts of roman physician Galen.
The people of Pergamon were known for innovation and for their inventions – they made a parchment out of calfskin and built the first psychiatric hospital in the world. It was also well known for its contribution to the arts, with a theatre that could seat 10,000 people with acoustics so people sitting in the top row could hear a whisper from the stage. It was also known as a centre of intellect, and its library was the second largest in the ancient world.
Visitors today can see the Acropolis, one of the steepest theatres in the World, the site of the famous Altar of Zeus, the Acropolis and the Asclepion,built in honour of Asklepios, the Greek serpent god, the Asclepion was a healing centre that was part hospital and part health spa. Here, patients could get any treatment from a mud bath to major surgery.
If you are interested in visiting Pergamon, have a look at my suggested tour.