“The ruins of himself! now worn away, with age, yet still majestic in decay.” —Homer.
The best way to see the Acropolis of Pergamon is to take the cable car up (they will try to sell you a return ticket, but insist on one-way) and then walk down the ancient road via the Gymnasium.
The famous Library of Pergamon, which contained 200,000 books, was situated north of the square. Antonius gave all the books in the library to Cleopatra as a wedding gift (beauty and brains?). Pergamon’s library on the Acropolis is the second best in ancient Greek civilization. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance called pergaminus or pergamena (parchment) after the city.
The Theater of Pergamon, one of the steepest theaters in the world, has a capacity of 10,000 people and was constructed in the 3rd century B.C.E.
The famous Altar of Zeus in Pergamon is on the south of the theater. The Altar, taken from Pergamon in 1871 by the German engineer Carl Humann, is exhibited at the Museum of Pergamum in Berlin, in a way conforming to its original. Today the Turkish government is trying to get it back from Germany, bringing the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Read more on my blog.