Turkey Day 17 - Pergamon, Tanks & a cable-car

A theatre with a view, not for those with a fear of heights at the top of Pergamon looking into modern Bergama.

This is my only day in historical Pergamon, now known as Bergama, and it turned out to be a full on day so good thing I visited the Red Basilica yesterday evening when I arrived.

The breakfast was just mind blowing, possibly the best breakfast in my life! They kept bringing out new food and it was all nice and fresh and hot. There were several things I didn’t know what they were but the best was the omelette it was simply delicious. There are no photos as I was too busy enjoying with the rest of the family.

The narrow road I had to drive the SUV down with Pergamon Pension at the end on the left, and where turning round was a real challenge.

The Pension owner told us there was a cable-car up the ruins of the Acropolis which got Grandma excited so off we headed to find it. After all the driving and walking up to ruins recently it was quite strange to be in a cable-car heading up over  ruins but it was a lot of fun. I think Grandma and Robin got the biggest thrill out of the experience.

Grandma excited to see the cable-car.

Robin looking down from the cable-car.

And Luke not really sure what to make of it all.

At the top Grandma browsed the stalls which are of course at the entrance to the Acropolis before heading back down via the cable car, while the rest of us explored the Acropolis of Pergamon. Grandma is getting good at walking around on her own in a foreign speaking Muslim nation, by asking for directions as long as she knows the name of the place we are staying, or in this case the place next door.

There is not a lot to see now-days of the Acropolis at Pergamon but the view down below is amazing, and the theatre on the side of the mountain has a great view.

Robin dancing in the back of a Roman temple.

Luke and Robin playing together.

The view down to the countryside below.

The large foundations for the Roman temple. This is actually a maintenance tunnel Robin is in.

The remains of the Roman temple in question.

Julianne looking down into the theatre.

Sitting in one of the seats in the theatre.

What was really neat was visiting the site where the famous Alter of Zeus was located. The actual alter is actually in Berlin, in a museum called the Pergamon Museum it is so famous – and a place I have visited back in 2008. It was great to put it in perspective through sad it is no longer here in Pergamon itself.

Model of the Alter of Zeus from Pergamon.

Where the Alter of Zeus used to be located.

Pergamon also had the second largest library in ancient times which was fascinating, over 200,000 scrolls they believe.

It was cold and with bits of rain so Julianne and the boys went down on the cable car while I went down the hill through the lower ruins on foot.

Heading down to Bergama on the old Roman Road. Much more fun than the cable car.

Looking back up at the cable-car while walking down.

There were actually quite a bit of ruins to see on the way down including this house with amazing mosaics and a stadium spread over several levels.

Mosaics in House at Pergamon.

The walk down took a lot longer than expected, several hours in fact plus the gate was locked at the end! There was no way I was going back up just to go down the cable car so I noticed a small hole under the fence and crawled through. Strange they let you into the lower portion of the old Pergamon but don’t have a way to let you out.

Looking back onto the Red Basilica from yesterday on the walk back down – you can see how huge it is.

I got back to the pension just after 2pm, I rested for 5 minutes before heading off to the Asclepion on my own which was of course up on a smaller hill, the ruins of a medical centre. Again there is not a lot see but I was interested in seeing the layout of the place. It reminded me of Epidaurus in Greece just a lot smaller. This was quite a famous place of healing several thousands of years ago.


Not so mysterious or magical sacred fountain nowadays.


Looking back up to Pergamon from Asclepion.  

What was an added bonus was a Turkish Army Tank base right next door so I got to see some of their Tanks manoeuvring around, something you will not see in New Zealand as we don’t have any tanks.

Turkish tank.

I then went to the Archaeology Museum which was not large but contained items from Pergamon and the Ascelpion, and I enjoy looking at items found from areas I have just explored, puts things in context.

There was an added bonus of local Turkish crafts & lifestyles section in the museum which I enjoyed, showing weaving costumes and weapons.

Setup of a historical Turkish Ottoman house.

200 odd year carpet – they have been making these carpets for centuries, and interestingly very similar to what we have purchased.

A large vertical loom,

A 3 headed Roman dog.

I then walked back the Pension quite tired – I have been on my feet since 9am and it is now 5-30pm with only very brief times resting.

I then looked after Luke while the others went to look at the local Turkish section back in the Archaeology Museum, they had spent the afternoon relaxing and of course with a bit of shopping.

Tea tonight was the same cheap local place we went to last night which everyone enjoyed.

Amusing shop on the way selling a meal with Wegetables, translation issues.

Adam Weller