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Photographer's Note

I was in Bergama (Pergamum) at the weekend. I thought I could walk up to the Acropolis but i had no idea how "acro" it was!!! I walked for a zillion of kilometres and then I was there. The Acropolis was fascinating.

This picture is from the galleries in front of the Temple of Trajan.

Pergamum was an ancient city founded by colonists on the Aegean coast of Anatolia at the site of the present-day city of Bergama. It was on a tributary of the Bakircay (Caicus River), enclosed by high mountains. Fertile, self-contained and easily defended, it provided the perfect setting for the maintenance of a city state.

The function of the acropolis in Pergamum was never the same as the function of the acropolis in Athens. In Athens everything was focused on religion, whereas in Pergamum it was on social and cultural activities, or in other words, daily life. As a result of this contrast, major buildings in Pergamum were reserved for public use in daily life. Even in the temples, religion was of secondary importance. Buildings had large areas for the public where they could meet, walk or join in social affairs. Pergamum was the first city to react against functional urbanism of Hippodamus preferring ornamental urbanism. Pergamenes agreed that functionalism was necessary, but that aesthetics were to be given even more consideration. The buildings of the Acropolis were designed to be seen from below and to impress those viewing the city from the valley.

In the Roman period, Pergamum played an important role in the early history of Christianity. It was also numbered among the Seven Churches of Revelation.

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