Pergamum
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Pergamon was once an old Creek city in west part of Anatolia – north from today’s Izmir. It’s ruins are located some 25 kilometers from coastline and nearby exists today Turkish city of Pergama.

DSC04682Originally Pergamon was an Creek settlement of Arcadians if one beliefs ancient legends.

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Pergamon was located on very high hill and around it ruins lies valleys and river. Here one can say that it’s always windy on the top!

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South from Pergamon lies today’s Turkish Pergama and ruins of ancient Asklepion, from which some words later on.

DSC04727Once this city was the center of kingdom of Pergamon (282 BC–133 BC) and during Attalid dynasty it ruled nearly half of Anatolia. Here on the top of the hill lived the rulers and nobles of the Pergamon – protected by strong city walls.

DSC04726Of course here in the heights the big question is water! Therefore there were reservois where rainwater was gathered. Here one with column inside to help estimation of water volume left.

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Here city walls were built by heavy rock pieces and they have lasted more than 2000 years – not bad achievement. I wonder how they transported all those heavy rocks to these heights.

DSC04753Our path leads beside steep slopes outside city walls. Wow! Sceneries are wonderful over today’s Turkish Pergama, which lies down below on the valley.

DSC04763Here one can see better the structure of the outwall on northern side. And single red flower – poppy? – trying to survive under hot sun in between ruins.

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Nice view to northeast over the path outside city walls.

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Views get even better. Hmm…this would be a great place for downhill skiing. But here rains never snow flakes. The weather here is sunny and it’s always warm.

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Now we are getting again inside the city walls. One can see from walls an exceptionally well placed Greek theatre, which is laid south outside the city walls.

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Pergamon rulers were wise and they could see the future. So they understood the new world power which was rising from west. So they made an alliance with Rome and since time of Attalus I they served Rome. When heavy war against Macedonia was on their door, Romans came to help and Macedonia was slayed. And Rome rewarded it’s supporter Pergamon by giving them Seleucid lands in Asia Minor.

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Here was placed a great Roman temple, which can be seen even west side of the hill far far away. Temple was dedicated for Roman God – Trajan! Who else! Well – he was one of the great Roman emperors.
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Here is sign telling about the temple of Trajan, which was built on very central place of the hill – probably to show that Rome was their friend.

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And who have we here? Maybe even Trajan himself! Well – he had suffered some damages.

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The upper part of the hill was originally from Greek time and the lower part from Roman time. Therefore temple of Trajan is delibaretely put into valuable place…

DSC04822Views towards south side over the city walls have been really nice!

DSC04809Here temple and worshippers of Trajan have been bathing under the sun shining from southern sky high.

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I wonder have somebody had here nice terrace where one have been drinking wine under hot afternoon sun and enjoyed from the view over valley.

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And now our path leads underground…

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On western side of the hill there are nice porticoes where strong arches camber over vagabonds. Right side of corridor there are rooms where captivies were kept behind bars.

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Here once used to be a big library. Pergamon was then famous about it’s valuable writings and important place of knowledge. But then ruler of Eastern part of Rome – Marc Antony – gathered it all and shipped to Cleopatra to Alexandria. Too bad for Pergamon. By the way – did you know that parchment has got it name from Pergamon. Parchment was thin calfskin used for writing. Because Alexandria had monopole for papyrus Pergamons started to develop parchment use.

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And those red flowers just keep on hanging on life – flourishing here were ground seems to be so dry and barren.

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And now we come to southwest part of town – and this theatre is magnificient! Greek people have really got eye where to place their theatres!

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How nice it would have been to sit here in this theatre and watch Creek plays. And when sun sets down on west how beautiful scenery it must have been! If one could only travel back in time and experice this…

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Here is the sign giving some understanding how this theatre has been looking. From this picture one can see very rare feature of stage.

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Here are empty holes in front of theatre which means that stage has been built separately for every play – it has not been fixed as normally.

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And here the actors have been standing and using their masks when speaking loudly to audience. This was their view to upwards – towards the audience…

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Down beside stage there is also the temple of Artemis. Here every play was started first by sacrificing and honouring Greek gods – and later Roman ones.

DSC04951And here stands the foundations of most important temple – temple of Zeus. Now the place looks empty because the temple lies now in Berlin! Don’t know why…

DSC04953Here is a small scale model how it once looked. Model gives us a nice picture of long and broad stairs and long lines of columns.

DSC04961Of course every city must have a market place. Here Eastsouth were once many small buildings used as marketplace – small shops and booths.

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Yes – this was the Pergamon! Famous city on top of the high hill and once this city ruled half of Anatolia. Good example of wise rulers… To avoid any civil wars last king of Pergamon – Attalus III – bequethed whole kingdom to Rome. He had no heir and he knew it would lead to civil war – as it always does. So he solved this problem by joining to Rome. Not a bad desicion.

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For a moment we sit and rest in cafeteria and drink Turkish coffee. And for a moment I feel nice summer breeze and feel very comfortable. And I understand why people of Pergamon wanted to live here. And I also think – why should I not stay here and remain for longer Holiday? But no! I must go further – my works are waiting! And Asklepion…

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