Once one of the richest and most powerful settlements in the Middle East, the beauty and cultural importance of Pergamon is still evident today in the impressive mountainside Acropolis and the Asclepion, a fascinating ancient medical centre.
In its heyday, Pergamon was a prominent cultural hub, which briefly rose to the status of capital of the Roman Empire in Asia. Sadly, much of the structures excavated from the Acropolis are now to be found in the Berlin Museum, but what is left, including the marble-columned Temple of Trajan and a hillside theatre, is still a spectacular sight.
Your guide will lead you around the ruins of the structures still remaining and also tell you the history of the buildings that have been removed elsewhere. The Acropolis is located on the top of a hill outside modern Bergama, and can be reached either by car all the way to the top, or by taking a cable car for the last stretch of the ascent.
Views as you wander around the Acropolis are fantastic and can stretch quite far if the heat haze or cloud allows.
The Asclepion, located a short drive from the Acropolis, is perhaps less grand in appearance but better preserved. It was once a renowned medical foundation, where one of the greatest early physicians studied, whose medical knowledge and research continued to influence doctors until well into the 16th century.