image_caption = Ancient ruins of Bergama
subdivision_name1 = Aegean
subdivision_name2 = İzmir| population_total = 106.536
population_urban = 52.173
elevation_m = 68
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Bergama
latd = 39
latm = 07
latNS = N
longd = 27
longm = 11
longEW = E
postal_code = 35700
blank_info = 35 F XXXX , 35 Vxx XX|blank_name=Licence plate
website = [http://www.bergama.bel.tr www.bergama.bel.tr]
gwebsite = [http://www.bergama.gov.tr www.bergama.gov.tr]
Bergama ("Pargauma"/Pergamos:People of High City) refers to a city and its surrounding district in
İzmir Province, in the Aegean Region of the Republic of Turkey. Known for its cotton, gold, and fine carpets, the city was in ancient times the "Ancient" Greece and Roman cultural center of Pergamon; its wealth of ancient ruins continues to attract considerable tourist interest today.
Located on a promontory north of the
Bakırçayriver, 26km removed from the Aegean Sea, Bergama has a population of about 55,000. The ruins of the ancient city of Pergamonlie to the north and west of the modern city; Roman Pergamon is believed to have sustained a population of approximately 150,000 at its height in the first century AD. [http://i-cias.com/e.o/bergama.htm] .
Among Bergama's notable ruins are the Sanctuary of Asclepius (or "Asclepeion"), a tribute to the ancient Greek demigod of healing, and the "Red Basilica" complex ("Kızıl Avlu" in Turkish), a second century AD construction of the Emperor
Hadrianthat straddles the Selinus River. The town also features an archaeological museum.
Pergamon was a small settlement during the Archaic Period. Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great and who had become the sovereign of Anatolia after 301 B.C., delivered the war expenditures, at the amount of 9000 talents (1 talent is believed to be US$ 7,500 approx.), to Philetarios who was the commander of Pergamon, and the kingdom founded by Philetarios by using this sum of money following Lysimachos's death, flourished and became the most eminent center of culture of the Hellenistic period for 150 years. Eumenes I, Attalos I and Eumenes II were enthroned successively after Philetarios. Eumenes II took acropolis of Athens as an example and had the acropolis of Pergamon adorned with works of art which reflected fine taste, and Pergamon became one of the most graceful cities of the world. Attalos III who succeeded Attalos II, handed over his land to the Romans when he died in 133 B.C.
In the Acropolis, the remains that you see on the left hand side while going in, are the monumental tombs or heroons built for the kings of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period. Shops are situated at their side. When you enter the Acropolis, the remains seen at your left side, are the foundations of Propylon (monumental gates) which were constructed by Eumenes II. When you pass to the square surrounded with three stoas of the Doric order you'll notice the ruins of the temple of Athena, built during the time of Eumenes II in the 3rd century B.C. It's just above the theater. The famous Library of Pergamon which contained 200,000 books, was situated north of the square. Antonius gave all the books of the library to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. The remains near the library, are some houses from the Hellenistic period. If you go up the stairs, you'll see the remains of the palaces of Eumenes II and Attalos II. Inside the Acropolis there are houses, military barracks and military warehouses called "Arsenals". The building that has been restored at present, is the Temple of Trajan. Trajan started it but after his death Emperor Hadrian (117-138) finished the temple in Corinthian order and it was placed upon a terrace with dimensions of 68 x 58 m. Attempts have been continuing by the German archaeologists since 1976 to erect this temple which has 6 x 9 columns and a peripteros plan (one row of columns around the temple). It is completely marble.
The Theater of Pergamon, one of the steepest theaters in the world, has a capacity of 10,000 people and was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. The theater underwent changes during the Roman period under the reign of Caracalla. There is a 246.5 m long and approximately 16 m wide stoa (portico) in front of the theater. The road in front of the theater leads to the Temple of Dionysos (known in Rome as Baccus, god of wine). The temple was constructed in the 2nd century B.C. and reconstructed in marble during Caracalla's period (211-217 AD). Its dimensions are 11.80 x 20.22 m. The temple, which arouses interest because of the staircase in front with a height of 4.5 m and 25 steps, has an exquisite appearance.
The famous Altar of Zeus in Pergamon is on the south of the theater. Eumenes II (197-159 BC) constructed it as a memorial of the victory against the Galatians. This Altar has the shape of a horseshoe and its dimensions are 36.44 x 34.20 m. It is composed of four parts and the high relieves on it describe the war between the giants and the gods. The Altar which was taken away from Pergamon in 1871 and carried to Germany by the German engineer Carl Humann, is exhibited at the Museum of Pergamum in Berlin, in a manner conforming to its original. Today Turkish government is trying to get it back from Germany bringing the issue to the international court. On the south of the Altar, the Agora (market place) belonging to the 2nd century BC, is situated. In the middle of the Agora there is a small altar. Downwards in the Acropolis, the central city is placed. Inside Pergamon, there is the Temple of Serapis, built for the Egyptian Gods in the 2nd c. AD. and called as the Red Courtyard by the locals. This is a basilica shaped building constructed under the reign of Hadrian, then, in the 4th century, it was converted into a church dedicated to St. John and became one of the Seven Churches of Christianity.
The museum is in Bergama and Asklepion (the ancient medical complex, hospital) is out of the city. It is comprehended that Asklepion, built in the name of Aesculapius, the god of Health and Medicine, has existed since the 4th century BC. It contains premises such as a small theater with a capacity of 3,500 people, rooms where the patients were cured by the sound of water and music, the temple of Asklepion and the library. Here, the dreams of the patients were analyzed by their doctors (priests) 2000 years before Sigmund Freud did. One of the important personalities of Asklepion was Galen (Galenus) from the 2nd c. AD.
Some other historical buildings in Bergama include:
Minaretbuilt in the 14th century
caravanseraibuilt in the 14th century
- Taşhan caravanserai built in
- Great Mosque of Bergama built in
Mosquebuilt in 1550
- Zeus Altar (Now in Berlin Museum - Germany refuses to give back))
Between June 18-24, Bergama celebrates its annual festival "Bergama Kermesi", which is already running into its seventy-second anniversary. Bergama Kermesi is a major local event, generally celebrated with the attendance of Turkish celebrities, singers, players, poets, and writers.Bergama is historically famous for the antique city of Pergamon and for its traditional quarter comprising old Ottoman houses. Recently, the city has made headlines in the context of controversies surrounding the ancient spa settlement of
Allianoi, which is threatened by the construction of the Yortanlı Dam, and for environmental concerns regarding the gold minein Ovacık village. [http://www.ovacik-altin.com]
Bergama is also renowned for its high quality carpets. There are approximately eighty villages that still weave
Bergama carpets. The history of carpet weaving in Bergama dates back to the 11th century - when Turkish migration started to the area. Bergama carpets have almost always been woven with wool - an attestation to the pastoral life style of the Yörükclans populating the area at the time.
Although the history of carpet weaving in Bergama dates back to the 11th century, most surviving carpets do not age more than 200 years - mainly due to their wool content. The oldest surviving Bergama carpets can be found in mosques in and around Bergama, as well as the archaeological museum in Bergama.
* [http://www.pointsfromturkey.com/bergama.html Bergama]
* [http://www.usd.edu/~clehmann/pir/asiamysi.htm Rosa Valderrama, "Pergamum"] : brief history
* [http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/bergama_turkey Photographic tour of old and new Pergamon, including the museum]
* [http://perso.orange.fr/istanbul/circuit_turquie_voyage_culturel_asie_mineure/PERGAME/index.html Pergamon pictures]
* [http://www.bergama.bel.tr/indexana.php?islem=album Municipality of Bergama Photo Gallery] : Asklepion, Acropol and Kizil Avlu
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