Bergama (ancient Pergamum),
100 km (62 miles) north of İzmir and
250 km (155 miles) south of Çanakkale
(map), was renowned
in Hellenic and Roman times
for its great library and
as the medical center where 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
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...
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.
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 rides. More...
Pergamum (or Pergamon)
was an important kingdom during the
second century BC, having grown from
a city-state captured by Alexander
Upon Alexander's death in
323 BC, his generals fought for control
of the parts of his empire. Lysimachus took command of the Aegean
was killed in 281 BC, leaving Pergamum
in the control of Philetarus
who used Lysimachus's treasure to increase
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
and by expanding and beautifying the Asclepion
medical center. More...
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 Rome and 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.
portion of the Traianeum (Temple
of Trajan) on
the Acropolis of
Below left, snakes at