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Bergama (Pergamum)
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Introducing Bergama (Pergamum)

Bergama, a laid-back market town, is the modern successor to the once-powerful ancient city of Pergamum. Unlike Ephesus, which heaves with tourists year-round, Pergamum is for the most part a site of quiet, classical splendour. Those who do make it here are invariably enamoured with the uncrowded access to the Asclepion, ancient Rome’s pre-eminent medical centre, and the staggering mountainside Acropolis, easily reached by cable car.

There has been a town here since Trojan times, but Pergamum’s heyday was during the period between Alexander the Great and the Roman domination of all Asia Minor, when it was one of the Middle East’s richest and most powerful small kingdoms. Pergamum was inscribed on Unesco’s World Heritage List in June 2014, the 999th site in the world (and the 14th in Turkey) to be so honoured.