The Ancient city of Pergamon or Pergamum is one of the coolest preserved ancient cities I’ve seen - and I’ve seen many of them! Pergamon is located high above the modern day Turkish city of Bergama and about 30 minutes from the port town of Dikili; where I embarked from the Azamara Quest cruise ship. The trip was well worth it and Pergamon didn’t disappoint.
You can either take a cable car or a taxi up to the gate of Pergamon and from there you explore on your own. The top site in Pergamon is the Hellenistic Amphitheater. It is said to be the steepest and deepest amphitheater in the ancient world. Standing on the top step, I can say that I would have to agree with that assessment. It was a lot different than what I had seen in Ephesus yesterday.
The side views are also pretty awesome especially with the city of Bergama below. I really enjoyed looking at this theater and walking down to exit, you can really see how steep it is. This would not be for people with vertigo or who have issues walking, as it’s quite steep and tough on your knees.
The rest of Pergamon is like a labyrinth of well-preserved old ruins. The Temple of Trajan is pretty much visible from everywhere in Pergamon and it is quite a site to behold. It is beautiful and resembles ruins you’d see in Athens or Rome.
Different angles produce different photos in different light. I really enjoyed walking around these impressive ruins. The other great thing about Pergamon is the views of Bergama below and the valley behind. It really gives you perspective and helps you realize why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Back down in Bergama, you can visit the Red Basilica or the Red Hall. You can enter for a fee payable in only Turkish Lira or you can take some photos for free of the Hall and the North Rotunda as seen here. The rest of Bergama is pretty standard and not so much worth visiting.
Back in Dikili, it is a pretty pleasant place to walk around for a short time with a small main square near the port. There are a ton of kebab restaurants too if you’re looking for some local food but Dikili itself doesn’t have much to offer a visitor. Although the view from the ship isn’t too bad!
Pergamon, along with Ephesus are my two favorites ancient cities that I’ve visited in Turkey. Pergamon is definitely worth the trouble getting there and you won’t be disappointed.
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