After Ephesus, we drove to ancient ruins of Pergamum (aka Pergamon) set in modern day Bergama. We considered taking the cable car up to the acropolis, but instead drove up the hill. Pergamum is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation and is mentioned in Revelation 2:12–17. Today, the location is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It was David’s and my first time visiting the hilltop fortress. The extent of the ruins are not nearly as impressive as Ephesus or Laodicea, but I’m glad we got to see the theater. The theater of Pergamum was built in the 3rd century BC directly into the side of a hill. It could seat 10,000 people and was the steepest theater in the ancient world.
Pergamum was a prosperous city. It was a political center and had the second largest library in the ancient world. It also had the Asklepion hospital and health spa. The city was especially known for its pagan worship with temples dedicated to the Roman Emperor Trajan, Athena, Dionysus, Demeter, and Zeus. Christians here faced a lot of persecution. Antipas was martyred for his faithfulness to Christ.
The foundation of a temple:
I didn’t walk down to the bottom of the theater, but the boys and Mom did:
After we finished exploring the site, we headed to Efsane Hotel for the night. Bergama was a smaller city and it felt more conservative than others we’ve visited. Dad was still on the mend from his stomach bug and turned in early, but the rest of us had dinner at a Domino’s Pizza.