Mediterranean 2008 / 4 - Pergamon

We visited Pergamon while at anchor in Candarli - a very safe anchorage in a large bay with sand in shallow water.


This site was started in 399 BC and gained recognition under Alexander the Great. The Temple of Athena and the Library received wide recognition. It is larger than Priene and on a steeper hillside. The library lays claim to be the largest in the world at the time. It grew it's collection to more tha 200,000 by borrowing volumes and not returning them. The Alexandria Libray did not like this rivalry and cut off the supply of papyrus. The local went back to using parchment or pergamene made from animal skins. The sheets could be written on both side but could not be rolled up so they invented the current paged book which is easier to read.
Like many libraries I hve known it was closed or down sized and Mark Anthony gave some volumes to Cleopatra as a wedding gift in 41 BC.
The Theatre is very impressive overlooking the valley however the Library had the best view and location. The Temple of Trajan has some good carvings but most of the best pieces have gone having been robbed by a german engineer Carl Humann who took the pieces to Berlin.
I found the site rather disappointing and difficult to get to at the top of a steep hill just out of town. Use a taxi but only pay E15. Across town is the Asklepion in the middle of a miitary site. Again not very impressive especially the theatre which is now used by the locals who have painted the row and seat numbers on the original marble blocks.

Images of Pergamum are at Pergamum

The next pages documents our trip further north.  The next stop was Ayvalik - Lesvos