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Pergamon
  1 introduction
2 history
3 practical info
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  gallery 1
  gallery 2
 
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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Pergamon
Pergamon, Turkey Practical information   page 3
Panoramic view of the Kestel dam and reservoir northeast of the Pergamon acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Panoramic view of the Kestel dam and reservoir, northeast of the Pergamon acropolis.
on this page:
facts and figures area map local addresses and sights bus stations
 
More detailed information about Pergamon's sights
can be found with the photos in photo gallery 1.
Pergamon Facts and figures
name: Bergama is a modern Turkish town and district, 25 km inland from the Aegean Sea
and 85 km north of Izmir.

The archaeological sites of Pergamon, the Hellenistic city (ancient Greek, Πέργαμος, Pargauma / Pergamos, people of the high city; Latin, Pergamum), are situated around Bergama.

See further details below.

region: Aegean

province: Izmir

location: Northwestern Anatolia, 25 km inland, east of the Aegean Sea; 50 km south of the seaside town Ayvalik, and 85 km north of the provincial capital Izmir.

The town of Bergama lies on the broad plain of the Bakırçay river (the ancient Kaikos).

The ancient Acropolis of Pergamon is on top of a steep-sided hill at the north of the town (see photo on gallery 1, page 1).

getting there: See bus station addresses below.

Bus journey times to / from:

Istanbul, Bayrampasa Otogar (bus station on the Asian side of the city), 9.5 hours

Izmir, 2 hours

Ayvalik, 45 minutes

In summer there are daily ferries between Ayvalik and the Greek island of Lesbos (Mytilene).

elevation: Town of Bergama, 68 metres (223 ft)

population: Bergama district: 100,671 (2008)
town: 57,947 (2008)

local time: Eastern European Time (EET)

Daylight Saving Schedule:

Summer (from last Sunday in March)
GMT/UTC +3 hours

Winter (from last Sunday in October)
GMT/UTC +2 hours

currency: Turkish Lira (TL or TRY)

dialling code: +90 232

climate: Mediterranean

The area around Bergama is often cooler than other places in the region due to fresh winds which blow down from the nearby Madra mountains (Madra Daği, 1,344 metres high) and Kozak Plateau to the north. It can get particularly windy on the Pergamon Acropolis.

language: Turkish
Further information about Turkey, including visa details,
can be found on the main page introduction to Turkey.
Pergamon Area map
Map of north-western Turkey and the Aegean area at My Favourite Planet

map of north-western Turkey and the Aegean area.

See a larger interactive map of this area.

The national flag of Turkey
Pergamon

photo gallery 1

Pergamon's
sights
General views and panoramas of Bergama and Pergamon, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Bergama landscapes
 
Interactive plan of the Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

interactive Acropolis
 
The Hellenistic theatre of the Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Hellenistic theatre
 
The arched tunnels beneath the Temple of Trajan, Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Trajaneum tunnels
 
The Temple of Trajan on the Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Temple of Trajan
 
The site of the Great Altar of Zeus on the Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Zeus Altar site
 
The dam and reservoir on the river Kestel Çayı (the ancient Ketios), Bergama, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Kestel Çayı dam
 
The town of Bergama, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Bergama town
 
The Asclepieion archaeological site, Bergama (Pergamon), Turkey at My Favourite Planet

the Asclepieion
 
Pergamon

photo gallery 2

Art and architectural
objects, from or
related to Pergamon,
in various museums
Photos of Pergamon personalities at My Favourite Planet

Pergamon
personalities
 
Photos of Pergamese works of art at My Favourite Planet

Pergamese art
 
Statues of deities found in Pergamon at My Favourite Planet

Pergamon gods
 
Architectural artefacts from Pergamon, now in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin at My Favourite Planet

Pergamon
architecture
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Pergamon Local addresses and sights
The main sights of Bergama are the Archaeological Museum and the archaeological sites of the Pergamon Acropolis, the Red Basilica and the Asclepieion.


Bergama Tourist Information

Curiously, there are two tourist information offices in the centre of Bergama which appear to be in competition with each other.

Bergama Tourist Information Office

Hükümet Konagi, B Blok Zemin Kat., Cumhuriyet Cad. (Bergama's main street).

The tourist information, run by the local Directorate of Culture and Tourism (Kültür ve Turizm Bakanliği), is in the grounds of Hükümet Konagi, local municipal offices, just north of the Archaeological Museum and opposite the post office (PTT).

A green sign on the street leads you up the steps into the Konagi grounds.
The office is on the right, behind a large golden statue of Atatürk.

Tel: (0232) 631 28 51

Opening times: Monday - Friday 8:30 - 12 noon, and 13:00 - 17:30.
Closed Saturday and Sunday!

When the office was open, the two ladies on duty were friendly and spoke English. Apart the enormous and rather poor tourist map of Bergama (also available at many hotels and at the museum), they had difficulties providing detailed information about visiting any places of interest apart from the main tourist attractions.

A notice board outside offers doubtful information about local opening hours, distances, bus times and phone numbers of offices, hotels, restaurants and the camping site. When you read that the post office is 200 km away, you begin to wonder what other information on this board can be trusted.

Tourist Information booth

This small booth, run by the Bergama Chamber of Commerce (Bergama Ticaret Odasi), is outside the police station, opposite the post office (PTT) on Bankalar Cad.

Bankalar Cad. 47/2, 35700 Bergama.

Tel: (0232) 633 10 78 and 632 05 95

Opening times: 8:30 - 18:00; closed for lunch 12 noon - 13:00.
Closed Wednesday.

A very helpful young lady, who spoke English provided useful information about Bergama and the surrounding area.

If these two organizations ever joined forces, they might be able to provide an excellent service seven days a week.
 
 

Bergama Archaeological Museum at My Favourite Planet

The entrance to Bergama Archaeological Museum (Bergama Müzesi).


Bergama Archaeological Museum

(Bergama Arkeoloji Müzesi)

An excellent, small museum, worth at least an hour of your time.
The exhibits and information boards provide historical and geographical context to Pergamon's archaeological sites. However, most of the ancient city's most spectacular archaeological finds are to be found in other museums spread around the world, mainly in Istanbul, Izmir and Berlin.

Atatürk Meydani (Atatürk Square),
on Bankalar Cad, Bergama's main street.

Tel: +90 (232) 483 51 17    and    +90 (232) 483 62 16

e-mail: iktm35@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Opening times

Open every day

Summer (April - October) 8:00 - 19:00

Winter (November-March) 8:00 - 17:00

Admission: 5 Turkish lira.
   
The Pergamon Acropolis

(Bergama Akropol Örenyeri)

One of the world's most impressive and evocative archaeological sites
with a dramatic location and wonderful views.

Address: Kurtuluş Mah., Akropol Yolu 2, Bergama, İzmir

e-mail: iktm35@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Tel: +90 (232) 483 51 17    and    +90 (232) 483 62 16

Opening times: every day 8:00 - 17:00; April - October until 19:00.

Admission: 25 Turkish lira

Audio guide 10 Turkish lira

Getting to the Pergamon Acropolis

WALK: The 5 km walk up the winding road to the Acropolis allows some wonderful views of the town of Bergama and the surrounding countryside. However, some may find the climb strenuous, especially in the heat of summer.

BUS: There are no local buses up to the Acropolis.

TELERIFIK: There is now an exellent new cable car, known as the "Telerifik",
up to the Acropolis entrance. The Telerifik starts on the road up to the Acropolis,
about 1 km from the Red Basilica. A return ticket costs 10 Turkish lira.

We will be adding photos and further information about the Telerifik to this guide in the near future.

OWN VEHICLE: You can drive up to the Acropolis from Bergama. The turn-off is just east of the Red Basilica. There is a large car park (for some reason run by the Bergama civic sports club) at the top, close to the entrance to the archaeological site.

Parking fees:
minibuses and camping vans 15 TL
cars and taxis 3.50 TL

TAXI: A taxi costs around 15-20 Lira. Some taxi drivers will offer to drive you to Pergamon's sites on a tight schedule (e.g. 1 hour at the Acropolis) from around 30 Euro, which you may find attractive if you can afford it and don't have much time.

TOURS: Bus tours are offered from Bergama and other nearby towns, cities and tourist resorts.
 
The Pergamon Acropolis, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Pergamon Acropolis


photo gallery 1
The Red Basilica

(Kızıl Avlu, also known as the Red Hall and the Temple of Serapis)

The ruin of the enormous temple, built during the Roman Imperial period,
is in the centre of Bergama, on Istikläl Mydani, on the Bergama Çayı (River Selinus).

e-mail: iktm35@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Tel: +90 (232) 483 51 17    and    +90 (232) 483 62 16

Opening times

Open every day

Summer (April - October) 8:00 - 19:00

Winter (November-March) 8:00 - 17:00

Admission: 5 Turkish lira.
 
The Red Basilica, Bergama, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

The Red Basilica


photo gallery 1
The Asclepieion

(Bergama Asklepion Örenyeri)

The archaeological site of the ancient Greek healing centre.

Asdress: Zafer Mahallesi Prof. Dr. Frieldhelm Korte Caddesi No. 1. Bergama, İzmir.

e-mail: iktm35@kulturturizm.gov.tr

Tel: +90 (232) 483 51 17    and    +90 (232) 483 62 16

Opening times: daily 8:30 - 17:30

Admission: 15 Turkish lira

An uphill walk or drive of about 2 km from the centre of Bergama, along a road which starts next to the Kurşunlu Camii mosque, opposite the post office (PTT) on Bankalar Cad.

The start of the road is marked by a signpost to the Asclepieion and a statue of the Greek physician Galen on Cumhuriyet Square.

There is a free car park, free toilets, a cafe and souvenir shops opposite the entrance to the site.

 
The Asclepieion archaeological site, Bergama (Pergamon), Turkey at My Favourite Planet

the Asclepieion


photo gallery 1
Pergamon Bus stations (otogar) in Bergama
Bergama has two bus stations:

The old central otogar near the football stadium has been closed and replaced by a large concrete bus station (Bergama Şehirlerarası Otogarı), 7 km southwest of Bergama, on the Izmir highway. This can be reached by local dolmuş services, as well as buses run by the Metro company, which start at the smaller otogar.

The smaller otogar, for buses and dolmuşes heading north and east from Bergama, is on Istikläl Mydani, on the west side of the Red Basilica (see photo below).

Some smaller inter-city buses, for example to Izmir, also start at the smaller otogar, and make stops along Bankalar Cad., Bergama's main street (which becomes Cumhuriyet Cad. after the post office and leads southwards out of town), and the new main otogar.

Inter-city bus tickets can be bought at the smaller otogar, or reserved by phone. Hotels are usually happy to make bus reservations for guests free of charge.
  What is a dolmuş?

A dolmuş (pronounced dolmush) is a type of local private minibus found all over Turkey, providing public transport around and between towns and villages.

Sometimes the fare is fixed, sometimes they operate a bit like taxi in that you share the fare with other passengers. Often there is no fixed route or timetable: the dolmus leaves when it is full, or the driver decides he has enough passengers, and he may go off the main road to take a passenger to a particular village or house. Tickets or receipts are usually not issued.

Dolmuşes can get cramped and very full, and the reinforced suspension often provides a bumpy ride, especially on country roads. However, they are cheap and reliable, and mostly the friendliest way to travel around the country.

In many places dolmuş services are now regulated, with fixed fares displayed on a list in the bus, although timetables are still approximate.

The names of their start and destination places are usually painted on the front of the bus.

Outside towns and villages there are often fixed stopping points, although not always recognizable bus stops. Usually, you can flag down a dolmuş from the roadside anywhere along the route and drivers will stop for you, provided they are not full.
 
 

The local dolmus bus station next to the Red Basilica, Bergama, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Local dolmus minibuses (right) parked outside Bergama's smaller otogar (bus station)
on Istikläl Mydani, just west of the "Red Basilica" (Kızıl Avlu, see gallery page 27).
 

The Bergama Cayi river valley and the Akropol Cad road up to the Pergamon Acropolis at My Favourite Planet

The valley of Selinus river, now known as Bergama Çayı,
as seen from the west side of the Pergamon Acropolis.

The narrow road which crosses diagonally up from the bottom to the middle right of the photo is Akropol Cad. (also known as Kale Yolu), the road from Bergama up to the Acropolis. It is a continuation of Bergama's main street Bankalar Cad, and starts at the north side of the river, just east of the Red Basilica. From there it snakes its way up the west flank of the Acropolis hill, loops around the north face and steeply up to the car park and entrance to the Acropolis archaeological site.

Altogether, that's a haul of over 5km, and can be hard work by foot on a hot summer day. It's therefore not surprising that so many visitors take the "Telerifik" cable car or a taxi. For those who have the time and stamina to make the hike, it's a great walk, and the beautiful views make it well worth the effort.
 
Map, photos and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

All photos and articles are copyright protected.

Images and materials by other authors
have been attributed where applicable.

Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.

If you are interested in using any of the photos for your website,
blog or publication, please get in contact.

Higher resolution versions are available on request.

Some of the information and photos in this guide to Pergamon
originally appeared in 2004 on davidjohnberlin.de.
 
See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays about Turkey:

Istanbul Essentials part 1

Istanbul Essentials part 2

Istanbul Essentials part 3
with video

Ionian Spring part 1

Ionian Spring part 2

Ionian Spring part 3
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