Main Attractions in Pergamum

Pergamum has been a rich source of archeological materials, the results of, which can be seen at the Bergama Museum in Pergamum where ancient relics unearthed in the 1936 excavation are kept. Other relics of the distant past that you can see at Pergamum are:

The Acropolis echoes the grand Hellenistic age in the form of magnificent tombs/herons built for kings with shops lined beside it. There are also the foundations of Propylon to be seen, which are otherwise colossal gates constructed by Eumenes II. Next you will move into the square that is surrounded with three stoas or porticos in a Doric arrangement. In the square lie the ruins of some of the most intriguing architectural discoveries of the past millennium.
  • The Temple of Athena is a structure built during the reign of Eumenes II in the 3rd century B.C.
  • This square also housed the famous library, the books of, which were gifted by Antonius to Cleopatra as a nuptial souvenir. This library stored around 200,000 books, which upholds the importance of the city.
  • Another thing of interest are the ruins of the royal palaces of Eumenes II and Attalos II.
  • Apart from these there are military garrisons, residences and military depots known as "Arsenals" in the Acropolis.
  • However, the most important of them all is the Temple of Trajan that has been refurbished during the modern times. Emperor Trajan began its construction, which was finished by Emperor Hadrian. Made of marble, this temple was built in the Corinthian order and was placed on a terrace (68x58m). With 6x9 pillars and a row of columns around the temple called the peripteros plan, the temple is a beautiful creation.

The Theater of Pergamon, was built in the 2nd century B.C. and was rebuilt during Emperor Caraculla's reign in the Roman period in the 3rd century A.D. It has a sharp vertical rise and can seat 10,000 people at once. A most interesting feature is its staircase with 4.5 m of height and 25 steps and is built in the front. Moreover a portico of 246.5 m length and 16 m width lies in the front of the theater.

The Altar of Zeus lies to the south of the theater and was built by Eumenes II (197-159 B.C) as a monument to celebrate his victory over the Galatians. The Altar is shaped like a horseshoe and is composed of four parts with relieves that depict war scenes between the Gods and the Giants. The Altar is however kept in the Museum of Pergamum in Berlin, Germany.

The Agora lies to the south of the Altar and was probably built around the 2nd century B.C. and there is a small altar in the center.

The Temple of Serapis is also a 2nd century A.D. structure erected to appease the Egyptians Gods and is known as the red Courtyard among the locals. It is shaped like a cathedral that was constructed under the rule of Hadrian but was converted to a church in the 4th century. This church devoted to St. John later became one of the Seven Churches of Christianity.

Asklepion is the ancient hospital that has been in existence since the 4th century B.C. It has been named after Aesculapius who is considered to be the resident God of health and medicine. Inside it are the theater, treatment room, a temple and a library. The curative methods adopted at this place were ahead of their time and also included dream interpretation. Galen or Galenus, one of the eminent persons of the 2nd century A.D. is also known to have been here.