Pergamon was the ancient city which situated in modern-day Turkey. After the death of Alexander the Great, successor of him who is called Lysimachus chose Pergamon as the depository for his wealth. He placed nine thousand talents of gold in Pergamum and assign his lieutenant Philetaerus to control them. After the death of Lysimachus, Philetaerus took advantage of this wealth and founded the independent dynasty of Attalid Kings which later played a significant role in the Ancient Mediterranean stage and became the centre of Hellenistic civilization. With the success of the two kings Attalus I and Eumenes II, Pergamum reached the highest point of its power. Pergamum became a very powerful kingdom by Attalus I including Mysia, Lydia, Caria, Pamphylia and Phrygia. He not only extended the borders but also decorated the capital city with architectural splendors. Attalus built an impressive metropolis including beautiful temples, roads, a library which was the second biggest in Ancient world and a school of medicine, the Asclepion, founded in 4 century BC. Eumenes II improved the city culturally. King Attalus III bequeathed the territory to the Romans who were slow to incorporate and order the governing of this vast bequest. They made the city rich in art and culture but poor in politics and economy. The city went through the Arab, Byzantine and finally the Turkish period in the 14C.
The acropolis Pergamon was built depending on social and cultural activities, so buildings in Pergamon were designed to be used in daily life. In the temples which were erected in acropolis in Pergamon religion was less important than the social affairs. Acropolis buildings were built and designed with the aim of impressing the ones viewing the city from the valley. Almost all buildings which are mostly made of andesite and rarely marble were built in the reign of the Hellenistic emperors.
Heroon in Pergamon was the shrine in which the kings especially Attalus I and Eumenes II were worshipped. The Sanctuary of Athena was built Eumenes II and dedicated to victory-bringing Athena.
Another building was Library of Pergamon constructed by Eumenes II. It was the second biggest ancient libraries which contained two hundred thousand volumes. A century later these volumes were given as wedding present to Cleopatra by Mark Antony. The library is located north of the Athena Sanctuary.
Temple of Trojan was constructed by Hadrian In the 2nd century. It was built of marble. Zeus Altar in Pergamon is one of the finest altar ever built. It is a marble offering-table is on a huge stone plinth which also supports the double colonnade of Ionic columns. It was erected in 180 B.C.
Asclepion was both the first healing center of the antiquity and a sanctuary dedicated to healing god Asclepius. It was set up in 4 C BC, however it reached its peak in the Roman Period. Asclepius is son of Apollo and the god of healing. In the Asclepion the treatments were quite similar to those of modern natural science world. Patients were given exercises, drugs, herbal remedies or treated by suggestions whichever necessary. They would walk among the trees and get calmed by the scent of pines. There was a inscription with words “In the name of the Gods, Death is forbidden to enter.” Snakes is the symbol of medicine. As they had the power to renew themselves, They were accepted sacred. Therefore, there was a relief of snaks at the entrance of the sacred medical center. This symbol was firstly used in this medical center of Pergamon.