As long as humans have found transcendent meaning in earthly places, they have made special journeys to those places. Traditionally, a pilgrimage is an act of religious devotion, but lately the word is used to describe a trip to any place that is especially inspiring to the traveler. Continue reading →
The world’s steepest ancient theater appears to be sliding right off the acropolis of Pergamum. Don’t worry, it has been hanging on for 2,000 years. Imagine all the many thousands of performances staged right here, with the sweeping valley view as a backdrop. Just out of the picture, dazzling marble remains are scattered across the mountain top; and the Temple of Dionysus, the foundations of the great Alter of Zeus and the agora are terraced into the slope off to the side.
Pergamum was an important Greco-Roman city, home to 200,000 people at its peak. The 3rd largest library of antiquity was here and people from all across the Roman world came for health and wellness treatments at the Sanctuary of Asclepius. One of the Seven Churches of Revelation was in Pergamum and it’s a common stop on Christian pilgrimage tours of Turkey.
Pergamum is about 15 miles from the Aegean coast, 60 miles from Izmir, the closest airport, and 110 miles from Ephesus. The modern town on the site is Bergama.