A Road Trip: Part 2


This my friends is day 2 of our road trip. 
 From Ayvalik we ventured to modern day Bergama, ancient day Pergamum.  Our day began at the Red Basilica, named specifically for the red bricks used in the construction.  It was built as an Egyptian temple for the god of Serapis in the early 2nd century before Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century and it was converted to a Byzantine church.  The basilica was then dedicated to St. John.  The walls are in tact but the roof is long gone.  There are two towers remaning, one of which was closed for renovation and the other which is currently being used as a mosque.  Ironic, don't you think? 
There are tablets such as the one above scattered throughout the site.  Some in Hebrew, Arabic and even one we saw in Greek.  Fascinating.  Being able to walk on the grounds, touch the marble, and see with our eyes history as ancient as this is surreal to say the least. 
From the basilica, we headed up the hill to the Akropol.  Home to the Temple of Trajan, Temple of Athena, The Altar of Zeus and the Great Theatre.  There are several square miles of ruins to take in at this site. 
The Things wandered the halls of the Temple and employed their imaginations.

The Temple of Trajan has been somewhat reconstructed and the marble castings that once covered the bricks are all but gone.  The columns remain as do the rooms below the main altar. 

The Great Theatre was an enormous ampitheatre built into the side of a hill that has the capacity to seat 10,000 people and has tremendous acoustics, even to this day.  This was the highlight of our adventure for the Things.  We carefully walked down the stairs to the "stage" of the theatre while Husband Jared remained at the top, waiting to test the acoustics.
Yes, that is the view from the top. To the right of us are the slight remains of the Temple of Athena and a very steep cliff which we tried to stay away from.  The Akropol was built on top of a hill providing a beneficial view for the city to ward off intruders. 
Imagine that without the power lines. 

The Altar of Zeus shared this site as well.  German archeologists excavated the altar and shipped every piece recovered to Berlin's Pergamon Museum.  There you can see a 400 ft. frieze of the battle of the gods against the giants.  And here, at the original home, all that remains are broken fragments of the foundation.
The Things stopped for a rest in the shade of this huge pine tree that sits just outside the Altar of Zeus.

  More of the Temple of Trajan, upper level.
And here, a history lesson by Mom.  The beginning of our trek. 
We wandered up and down and through the ancient city ruins and learned as we went.  The white guide signs shown above told the story, even in English, of what we were about to see.  It was helpful.  There was so much to take in.  Considering we didn't even make it to the site of the Asklepion, which is believed to be the world's first full service health clinic.  It was built in reference to the god Asklepios, whose symbol is the rod and staff, still used to represent medicine today. 
That is a trip for another day, The Holy Road, the library and The Temple of Telesphorus. 
Not to mention we only briefly covered the fact that Pergamum is one of the seven churches in the book of Revelations. The Things and I read the passage on the drive to Bergama, Revelations 2:12-17.  
 A wealth of study awaits our homeschooling adventure.  Being able to experience the history both physically and spiritually is an irreplacable opportunity. 
After we were done trekking the Akropol we sat in the shadey cafe and shared Tost sandwiches.  Delicious home made bread filled with peyniri(cheese), domatoes(tomatoes) and sucuk(beef sausuage), made by a local butcher in Bergama.  Yumm!  Husband Jared opted for the gozleme.  A thin type tortilla, filled with cheese and parsley.  So tasty.  And then when we were on our way home.  Well, our new home at least, and back to the new normal that is our life. 

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