Pergamon was an ancient Greek city located 26 kilometers from the Aegean Sea, at the shores of Asia Minor. Today, known as Bergama, it is part of the Izmir Province, Turkey. During the Hellenistic period, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon and it reached its highest point of influence.

On the hill above it the remains of its ancient acropolis still stand like an ancient sleepless guard.

On the hill above it the remains of its ancient acropolis still stand like an ancient sleepless guard. It is an important historic landmark that attracts many tourists every year. Some of the city’s most important monuments are the temple of Athena, the Sanctuary of Trajan, the Hellenistic Theater, the Library of Pergamon, the Heroon, the Temple of Dionysus, and the Roman baths.

Before the Asia Minor Catastrophe Greeks used to live in Pergamon in peace with Turks. After the Catastrophe they had to live the area and abandon their houses. In the Greek neighborhood these houses stand to this day, abandoned but still beautiful. As I walked thought the narrow streets, I felt the charm and glory of that era. I imagined how it must have been with people walking around or riding their horses, merchants passing by and selling their goods, the smell of freshly cooked food coming out of the windows…

I hope the following photos – and the videos below them – offer a sense of this profound place:

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Pergamon is a very beautiful city and Greeks were devastated to live it along with all their belongings and lives. This is why they wrote and sang songs about its beauty. Here is two of them:

Pergamos, by Solon Lekas:

Traditional song of the Greek refugees of 1922:

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For more information about Pergamon, watch this documentary film produced by digaPictures: