Pergamon Ancient City
Pergamon is a recommendation by our travel agent in Canakkale, by adding €45 per person to take a detour from on our way to Kusadasi. I was in a little hesitation but then gradually decided to go for it since we’re already in Turkey and it turned out to be THE BEST of all ancient cities I’d visited in Turkey!
Before heading to Pergamon, we visited the Troy Ancient City which is popular with the Trojan Horse.
Trojan Horse – Troy
Entering Troy, you will see a huge trojan horse in front of you, you can climb up to the Trojan Horse by using the ladder. Other than the huge trojan horse, it’s the ruins of the ancient city.
Again, be sure to get a good tour guide so that he can make the history sounds more fun to you because when I said ruins, I meant it.
Ruins of Troy
The name Troy refers both to a place in legend and a real-life archaeological site. In legend, Troy is a city that was besieged for 10 years and eventually conquered by a Greek army led by King Agamemnon. The reason for this “Trojan War” was, according to Homer’s “Iliad,” the abduction of Helen, a queen from Sparta. This abduction was done by Paris, the son of Troy’s King Priam. Throughout the “Iliad” the gods constantly intervene in support of characters on both sides of the conflict.
Troy also refers to a real-life ancient city located on the northwest coast of Turkey which, since antiquity, has been identified by many as being the Troy discussed in the legend. Whether the Trojan War actually took place, and whether the site in northwest Turkey is the same Troy, is a matter of debate. The modern-day Turkish name for the site is Hisarlik.
The site of Hisarlik, in northwest Turkey, has been identified as being Troy since ancient times. Archaeological research shows that it was inhabited for almost 4,000 years starting around 3000 B.C. After one city was destroyed, a new city would be built on top of it, creating a human-made mound called a “tell.”
“There is no one single Troy; there are at least 10, lying in layers on top of each other,” writes University of Amsterdam researcher Gert Jan van Wijngaarden in a chapter of the book “Troy: City, Homer and Turkey” (University of Amsterdam, 2013).
Pergamon was a small settlement during the Archaic Period. In the Acropolis, the remains that you see on the left hand side while going in, are the monumental tombs or heroons built for the kings of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period.
The Theater of Pergamon, one of the steepest theaters in the world, has a capacity of 10,000 people and was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. The theater underwent changes during the Roman period under the reign of Caracalla. There is a 246.5 meters long and approximately 16 m wide stoa (portico) in front of the theater.
The road in front of the theater leads to the Temple of Dionysos (known in Rome as Baccus, god of wine). The temple was constructed in the 2nd century B.C. and reconstructed in marble during Caracalla’s period (211-217 AD). Its dimensions are 11.80 x 20.22 meters. The temple, which arouses interest because of the staircase in front with a height of 4.5 meters and 25 steps, has an exquisite appearance.
This Roman theater is really nothing like any other theater that I’ve seen in Turkey!
Before reaching the steepest theater, you will have to go through the beautiful ‘tunnel’ which I was told by my tour guide that I should take a ‘profile picture’ here. LOL!
Troy or Pergamon?
My first choice will be Pergamon, but if you’re really into Roman history, you shouldn’t missed out Troy as well!