Bergama was known as Pergamon in history and was one of the most important cultural centers of antiquity with the famous Library of Pergamum. Bergama is an archaeological site on the western coast of Turkey today. In this article, you can find a summary about the history of the Bergama Acropolis, as well as information about the current entrance fee and visiting hours.
Acropolis is recognized as the first settlement in the city of Pergamon. Located 300 meters above the sea level, Acropolis is home to the structures dating back to Roman Era. You should definitely take a look at this ancient city that protects the gorgeousness of Greco-Roman Era when you visit Western Coast of Turkey.
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What is Acropolis?
Acropolis was a kind of settlement in Ancient Greece. The word is originated from acro (topmost, outermost) and polis (city) in Greek. The settlements founded on high grounds and hosting important buildings such as temples, treasure buildings and government agencies were called as Acropolis.
In ancient Greece, almost every city had its own Acropolis. These settlements would never be abandoned in wartime because they hosted treasures, documents and important buildings of the state.
The History of Bergama (Pergamon)
The structures dating back to Roman Empire stand out in Bergama Acropolis Archeological Site in our time. However, studies show that the history of Pergamon goes even back to 3000 BC. Even though it still has not been determined the identities of the nations lived there, it is possible to speculate that this place has been an important settlement since Bronze Age. According to some historians, Acropolis is located on an old and extinct volcano.
Pergamon was one of the important cities of the state of Asia Minor that was loyal to the empire in Roman era. In addition to this, a city called as Pergamon was mentioned in the book of Pausanias, a Lydian geographer, and the famous book of Xenophon titled as “The March of the Ten Thousand”. In this regard, it is possible to date Acropolis as a city-state back to Ancient Greek Period.
What to See in Bergama (Pergamon)
Acropolis was located 300 meters above the sea, at the peak point of ancient city of Pergamon. The ancient city of Pergamon is known today as the Bergama Acropolis. Bergama archaeological site is located in Izmir, Turkey.
Studies show that the family of the king of Pergamon, the commanders, the intelligentsia and the ruling class were living at the Acropolis of Bergama. Also, there were temples, stores, state buildings, aqueducts and agoras (marketplace) within the boundaries of this settlement.
Today, you can see some of these artifacts from the ancient city of Pergamon in the Bergama Archaeological Site. Although we introduce Pergamon’s Acropolis in this article, this is not the only ancient ruin in the region. In addition, Asklepion, one of the important health centers of ancient times, is also located in Bergama.
1. The Temple of Trajan
The Temple of Traian is a temple that started to be built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Traian (AD 98 – 117) and was expanded and finished by his successor Hadrian upon the death of his predecessor.
During the Roman Empire, the worship of emperors was quite common. For this reason, there are many emperor temples built by the emperor himself or with the donations of the people in ancient cities.
2. The Temple of Athena
The Temple of Athena, the oldest known temple in Pergamon, was built in the 3rd century BC. Although it was built for Athena, the goddess of intelligence and peace, the inner sanctuary is also dedicated to Zeus, the God of Gods.
3. Theatre of Pergamon
Theater of Pergamon is known as the steepest ancient theater in the world. The theater had a capacity of 10 thousand people. Although the main purpose of the theater was to stage shows to entertain the public, it was also used for council meetings during the Roman period.
4. Temple of Dionysus
Located at the north of the terrace of the theatre, the Temple of Dionysus is recognized as one of the unique monuments that represent the architectural style of Ionian Period. It is good to state that the altar located inside the temple has survived until today. Some of the pieces of this temple are located at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
5. Library of Pergamon
The Library of Pergamon was recognized as the second biggest library and cultural center after the Library of Alexandria when it was operating. In fact, it is known that the Ancient Egypt banned the exportation of papyrus because of the competition between these two libraries.
When we examine the etymology of the word “parchment”, we can see that this word comes from the word stem “Pergamae Chartae” meaning “Pergamon Paper”. This paper was invented after the Egyptians banned the exportation of papyrus to be able to bring new works of art in the library located at this Acropolis.
Bergama Acropolis Entrance Fee 2024
Bergama Acropolis entrance fee is 340 Turkish Lira as of 2024. Museum Pass Turkey is valid for entrance to Pergamon Ruins. The information on the ticket price was last updated on December 1, 2023.
Bergama Acropolis Opening Hours 2024
Bergama Acropolis opening hours are between 08:30 in the morning and 17:30 in the evening. Ticket sales end at the box office at 17:00. Pergamon ruins are open to visitors every day of the week. Information on visiting hours was last updated on December 1, 2023.
There may be changes in visiting hours due to various renovations and organizations in archaeological sites in Turkey. So you can visit the official website of the ancient city to see the latest situation before you go.
Bergama Acropolis is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Turkey. If you like to explore ancient cities, you should definitely see places such as Pergamon, Ephesus and Aphrodisias on the west coast of Turkey.
If you are a history lover, you may be interested in the Historical Places in Turkey article from the compilations on this site. You can also find detailed information about many similar ruins and museums in the About Turkey category.
There are many ancient ruins in Turkey where you can trace the history of Ancient Greece, Rome and early Christianity. Those interested in antiquity can embark on a journey starting from the old cities on the west coast to Cappadocia in the east.
Written by Serhat Engul