An imaginative attempt to reconstruct the appearance of the Pergamon Acropolis in antiquity, viewed from the south, based on the results of the German-led archaeological excavations. In the foreground is a long procession of worshippers leading animals to be sacrificed at the Great Altar of Zeus, built around 175 BC, from which smoke rises. Behind and to the northeast (right) of the altar is the Hellenistic Sanctuary of Athena Nikephoros, and above (left) the Roman period Temple of Trajan (Trajaneum, 2nd century AD). Not shown, for example, is the Upper Agora, which stood in front (south) of the Great Altar precinct.
Thiersch visited Pergamon in 1881 and was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II to plan the reconstruction of the Great Altar in Berlin. The painting hung for many years in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. It was published by Thiersch in 1883 in his short monograph about the Pergamon acropolis:
Friedrich von Thiersch, Die Königsburg von Pergamon: ein Bild aus der griechischen Vorzeit. Verlag von J. Engelhorn, Stuttgart, 1883. At Heidelberg University Digital Library.