Pergamon – birthplace of parchment paper and ancient city recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkiye

Baku, April 9, AZERTAC

Located high above the Bakirçay Plain in Turkiye’s Aegean region – famous for its numerous well-preserved historical sites and unique cuisine, Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape is among the top must-see attractions in western Turkiye.

The site, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014, has two main ancient sites for visitors to see, the Acropolis of Pergamon and the Ancient City of Asclepion (or Asklepion).

The acropolis of Pergamon was the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty, a major centre of learning in the ancient world.

Monumental temples, theatres, stoa or porticoes, gymnasium, altar and library were set into the sloping terrain surrounded by an extensive city wall.

The rock-cut Kybele Sanctuary lies to the north-west on another hill visually linked to the acropolis. Later the city became capital of the Roman province of Asia known for its Asclepieion healing centre. The acropolis crowns a landscape containing burial mounds and remains of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires in and around the modern town of Bergama on the lower slopes.

Pergamon was founded in the 3rd century BC as the capital of the Attalid dynasty. Located in the Aegean Region, the heart of the Antique World, and at the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East, it became an important cultural, scientific and political centre.

Creation of the capital on top of Kale Hill set the scene for the city. High steep sloping terrain and the Bakırçay Plain were integrated into the urban plan. The exceptional composition of monuments includes the extremely steep theatre, the lengthy stoa, a three-terraced Gymnasium, the Great Altar of Pergamon, the tumuli, pressured water pipelines, the city walls, and the Kybele Sanctuary which was perfectly aligned with Kale Hill.

As the Attalid capital, Pergamon was the protector of cities in the Hellenistic Period. It had political and artistic power and built up a very intense relationship with its contemporary civilisations. The dynasty founded one of the largest libraries in Pergamon, and the rivalry between three Hellenistic dynasties caused the Attalid Dynasty to create the famous sculpture school.

The second main site in the area is the ancient settlement of Asclepion, which is situated in a fertile valley that is adjacent to the base of the hill where the ruins of Pergamon are found.

Asclepion was built in honor of the God of Medicine in ancient Greece, Asclepius, in the fourth century B.C. It served as one of the prime healing and medicine centers in the ancient world for centuries. It is said that, back in the ancient Greek and Roman eras, people flocked to Asclepion to get treated for various physical and mental illnesses. Treatment methods such as sleep therapy, cupping, dream readings by priests and other experimental techniques were applied to find remedies for patients in Asclepius.

Bergama makes for a busy yet exciting day for tourists. It is one of the most recommended sites to visit in Turkiye today.

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