Pergamon is my favorite ancient classical destination in Turkey. Perched atop a mountain to aid fortifications, the acropolis covered just a small area of land affording a dense archaeological record and a small, tightly reconstructed area to explore today. Though the Germans looted many relics from the site (and now showcase them in Berlin’s Pergamonmuseum — which I visited the week after I visited Pergamon), the site still seems in terrific shape compared to Troy or Ephesus. I was giddy to know that in Roman times one of my favorite emperor’s, Marcus Aurelius, visited the famous hospital of Pergamon, at the sanctuary of Aesclepius to recover from an illness. Also historically significant was a library found here which Mark Antony gave to Cleopatra as a wedding gift.
It was easy to imagine life in ancient Pergamon among such historical contexts.