BergamaInhabited as early as the second millennium BC, Pergamon emerged as a regional power following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. In the 2nd century B.C. the kings of the Attalid dynasty ruled over half of Anatolia, and Pergamon rivalled Athens and Alexandria as a centre of Hellenic culture.
The ruins of the ancient acropolis sit on an imposing ridge, 300 metres above the modern town of Bergama. Next to the base of the famous Pergamon Altar are the remains of several sanctuaries; further down the hill, three large gymnasia, or sports complexes. Particularly impressive is the theatre with a seating capacity of 10,000, with the steepest seating of any known theatre in the ancient world.
Immortal Highlights of Hellenistic Art
The Pergamon AltarThe great Altar of Zeus is an unmatched masterpiece of Hellenistic art. Built by King Eumenes the Second in 170 B.C., the frieze depicts the “Clash of the Titans”: the gods of the Olymp, led by Zeus and Athene, fight the sons of Gaea, the Earth Mother.
▶ The Collection of Classical Antiquities, Berlin▶ Bergama
Hephaiston MosaicA magnificent mosaic from the largest palace on Pergamon's castle mound, created for Attalus the Second in about 160 B.C. An exquisite frieze shows almost three-dimensional flowers, animals and cupids – a small paradise with a curious signature…
▶ The Museum of Islamic Art▶ Bergama