Bergama (Pergamum), Turkey

Bergama (ancient Pergamum), 100 km (62 miles) north of İzmir and 250 km (155 miles) south of Çanakkale (map), was renowned in Hellenic and Romantimes for its great library and as the medical centerwhere Galen laid the foundation for medical practice.

Modern Bergama (BEHR-gah-mah, pop. 100,000) is a center for farming, light industry, schools, gold mining, and of course tourism. It’s a l-o-n-g spread-out city. It’s 7 km (4.35 miles) from the north-south highway and the bus terminal to the center of Bergama around the Bergama Müzesi (archeological museum), so you may have to take a taxi from the bus terminal to your hotel. From the museum, it’s another 5.35 km (3.3 miles) to the summit of the lofty Acropolis. More…

Guided tours are available from İzmir, or you can visit Bergama on a 6-day Self-Guided Driving Tour from Istanbul. More…

Most travelers visit Bergama on day-trips from İzmir or Ayvalık, or stop to see the sights on their itinerary between Çanakkale or Assos and Ephesus, but Bergama does have a few suitable hotels if you decide to spend the night here.

Bus is the best way of getting to Bergama. The town is long and spread out, so if you don’t have your own vehicle, expect to take some taxi ridesMore…

Pergamum (or Pergamon) was an important kingdom during the second century BC, having grown from a city-state captured by Alexander the Great.

Snakes—symbols of healing—on a marble column at the Asclepion ofPergamum, Turkey.

Upon Alexander’s death in 323 BC, his generals fought for control of the parts of his empire. Lysimachus took command of the Aegean coast, but was killed in 281 BC, leaving Pergamum in the control of Philetarus the Eunuch, who used Lysimachus’s treasure to increase his power.

Philetarus’s nephew and heirs built on their inheritance, and Eumenes II (197-159 BC), King of Pergamum, became the most powerful ruler in Anatolia. He beautified his capital city by building the Altar of Zeus, by constructing numerous buildings in the “middle city” on the slope of the Acropolis, and by expanding and beautifying the Asclepion medical centerMore…

Eumenes II’s son Attalus III was not his father’s equal. Pergamum’s power declined, and on Attalus’s death in 129 BC, the Kingdom of Pergamum was willed to Romeand became its Province of Asia (Minor).

Roman Pergamum was still a rich, important city. Some of its most important monuments, such as the Temple of Trajan, date from Roman times.

—Tom Brosnahan


Guided Tours

What to See & Do

Bergama Hotels

Bergama Transport

Ayvalık

Foça

İzmir

Assos

Çanakkale

Aegean Turkey

Where to Go

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