Bergama (Pergamon) from Çeşme
Medicine, written knowledge and Zeus is the glory of Pergamon- the name of the ancient city found in the district of Bergama, 100 km from Ýzmir. Pergamon was one of the important trade centres in the Mysian region during the ancient period. On becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon between 282 – 133 BC, the city was thus named after Pergamos, a legendary king. By killing the King of Teuthrania, Pergamos captured the city, and so gave it his name. According to another legend, Gyrnos, the King of Teuthrania, asked Pergamos for help during a battle and after the victory, two cities were built, one of them being named Pergamon in commemoration of Pergamos and the other Gryneion after Gyrnos. Pergamon was first mentioned in written documents early in the 4th century B.C. Buildings such as palaces, temples and theatres were built in the city when it became the capital, and the city was surrounded by perimeter walls and towers. After it was annexed to Rome, the Kingdom remained as one of the leading cities in Western Anatolia. The City of Pergamon, which was an independent kingdom in 283 BC, maintained its importance as a major historical, cultural and commercial centre for a period of 150 years. Because Alexander the Great hid his famous treasure at Pergamon Castle the city was a focus of interest to its enemies. Its conquest was top of the list for a number of kingdoms and civilizations. Carl Humann, a German engineer who worked on railway track installation in Western Anatolia in the 1870’s, discovered the ruins of the ancient city. Soon afterwards, in 1878, research and archaeological works began in Pergamon. Excavation and restoration work is ongoing. An important health care centre in ancient times Asclepion situated to the southwest of Pergamon, the Acropolis located in the first settlement on a steep hill at a height of 300 m. and the Temple of Serapis (Red Courtyard) dating back to the 2nd century all contribute significantly to the local cultural heritage. The famous Altar of Zeus, which was originally in the Acropolis, was taken to Germany in 1897 and it is presently on exhibition at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Bergama is a lovely district famous for its beauty spas, Kozak Plateau, advanced levels of weaving and rug production. In addition to its position as an important city with magnificent monuments, as a capital of a kingdom bearing the same name in the ancient period, the city was also an important strategic centre in the Medieval Period, a capital for Karesioðullarý Principality and finally, one of the leading centres of the Ottoman Empire.