Almost all ancient Greek cities have a place called Acropolis, which is the site of the first settlement of people in that area. Usually, it is a place on a hill that is fortified and protected. It served as the heart of the city, its economic, politic and cultural center. In other words, Acropolis was the Greek “Upper town.”
You can see the hill with the acropolis even when you’re just approaching the city. It rises above Bergama, and such geographical position was strategically important in the ancient times. The historians agree that the Acropolis was completely ready by the end on the 5th century BC. It was a place where rich people lived and where all important decisions about the city’s life were taken. In addition, it was the site of worship to their gods and cultural development.
The Acropolis is divided into two parts: Upper and Lower Acropolis.
The Upper Acropolis
One of the most important buildings of the upper part was the Altar of Zeus. It was a horseshoe-shaped construction stretched on an area of about 36 x 34 meters. It was discovered by the German explorer and then taken away to his native country in 1871. Now, it is displayed in Berlin Museum of Pergamum, and here in Bergama you can only see the base of this huge altar.
As all Greek cities, Pergamon had its theater on the slope of the hill. It differs from others by form due to its position. It is less rounded, but higher, with its stone seats facing the magnificent panorama around.
The Sanctuary of Traian stood above the theater to the right when facing the city. It was a big and magnificent marble building. To the left, there is the Temple of Athena that was built later than many other buildings of the Acropolis – in the 3rd century B.C.
Between the latter two buildings you can see the ruins of the Library of Pergamum, which was considered to be one of the best in the ancient world. It had about 200 thousand books that later were given as a wedding present to Cleopatra from the Emperor Antonius. Historians say that parchment produced here got its name after the name of the city.
The Lower Acropolis
While walking along the Lower Acropolis, you can see the Upper, Middle and Lower Gymnasiums, the Lower Agora, the Sancturaries of Hera and Demeter. The whole Acropolis was surrounded by the walls with the Gate of Eumenes.