About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

25 March 2014

Pergamon's Acropolis

Pergamon was a Greek kingdom that arose from the splinters of Alexander's empire after his death. Although the kingdom ruled much of modern Turkey, it did not last long, and was eventually incorporated into the Roman Empire.

I first learnt of Pergamon about 7 years ago, when I visited the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Since then, I have wanted to see Pergamon, in its original form.

The easiest way to get up to the acropolis is via a cable car. There are other parts of the acropolis that I missed out on, given that I went in the afternoon - but the main section is easy to cover in a few hours.

There are effectively two parts to the hilltop - the Greek part, which is not very well preserved including the place of the altar, palace walls, temples etc. and the Roman  part largely composed of a humongous temple and remnants of the artillery.

The construction itself is amazing. Like Machu Pichu or Kuelap in Peru, it is amazing that such a large town is built on a mountain top. The engineering to build the buildings, especially the Roman temple is amazing - as is the engineering that pumped water from over 40km (according to the audio guide) away.

The most imposing structure is the Roman Temple of Trajan, for two Roman emperors - Trajan and Hadrian, and Jupiter/Zeus. The supporting walls and vaults are an amazing piece of civil engineering that has fared far better than the temples above.

The Greek theatre complex, near the library (reputedly the second largest in antiquity) and temple of Athena is also amazing, especially with its views of the town below.

As for Pergamon's Altar - it is magnificent in Berlin, but you realize how big it must have been when the full size is seen; especially considering the 2trees that are now growing in the place of the altar.

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