The district of Bergama is located 112 km north of the province of Izmir in western Turkey and lies at a distance of 27 km inland from the nearest seacoast. The population of Bergama, the largest district of Izmir province, is 105,754. It is one of the important cultural tourism destinations of the Aegean Region. In addition to its historical past and archaeological values, Bergama has natural beauties. Pergamon was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014 as the 999th World Heritage Site in the world, the 13th World Heritage Site in Turkey, and the 1st World Heritage Site in Izmir with the title of “Pergamon Multilayered Cultural Landscape Area”, which includes layers from the Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman and Ottoman Periods. Bergama hosts the structures, reflecting Paganism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It is one of the seven churches of Christianity in Western Anatolia.


Witness the production of parchment!

The name Parchment, made from skins of animals (sheep or goats), comes from Bergama. The Egyptian papyrus rolls used in the Greek world were eventually replaced by parchment books. The reason for this is that the King of Egypt banned the export of papyrus to prevent the Library of Pergamum from overtaking the Library of Alexandria. In response to this, the people of Pergamon invented parchment as new writing material to replace the use of papyrus, which had become monopolized by the rival city of Alexandria. While walking in the district centre, it is possible to come across an atelier producing parchment still with traditional methods.

Touch the hand-made carpets!

Wool weavings such as carpets, rugs, sacks, saddlebags, and prayer rugs are among the most developed handicrafts of the Bergama Region. The fact that the colour does not fade and always remains bright on the root-dyed carpets shows the quality of these carpets. Until the 19th century, Bergama carpets were very popular. Almost every house had a carpet loom. An average of 19 km of carpets was exported annually. Especially in Europe, Bergama carpets were very famous among nobles, collectors, and even churches. Today, only some villages produce carpets. Bergama carpets attract attention with their stories as well as their various colours and features.

Listen to clarinet melodies!

The clarinet was a musical instrument played mostly by the Greek population in the region. In the early 1900s, it spread among the entire population. Although the masters generally want to teach music and musical notation to the children, they prefer to learn to play the pieces in the shortest way (learning by ear). The general aim is to learn to play the clarinet well in a short time and start performing at weddings and entertainment events. This has attracted the attention of many music researchers. Clarinet musicians from Bergama have become popular performers in concerts in different branches of music such as jazz and blues.

Join Türkiye’s oldest local festival!

It is the first local festival in Türkiye which has been organized since 1937. The concerts, forums, symposiums, panels, and interviews with writers, film shows, folk dances, various exhibitions, and backgammon, checkers and chess competitions are organized. One day of the festival is arranged in the region of Kozak which takes place in a picnic atmosphere. The folk dances, handicrafts, traditional clothes granite stone, wine, traditional foods and pine nuts are introduced to local and foreign tourists. The 86th Bergama Festival, which has gained an international character, was held in 2022.


The Ancient City of Pergamon

The name Pergamon roots from “Perg” or “Berg”, which means “fortress” or “fortified location”;. In 283 BC, Philetairos established his kingdom as the founder of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon which continued to be a strong Kingdom politically, economically, and culturally for 150 years. Upon King of Pergamon Attalos III’s will, the city, which was dominated by Rome in 133 BC, became the capital of the province of Asia. The author and philosopher Pilinius Secundus, who lived in the 1st century BC in Pergamon described the ancient city as “the most famous and respected city of Asia Minor”. Pergamon represents the most magnificent example of Hellenistic city planning with its monumental architecture built by making the finest use of the topography. The city, which has one of the most famous and well-known sculpture schools of the Hellenistic Period, created the Altar of Zeus in the second century BC.


The healing centres built in the name of Asclepius were called “Asclepion”. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Asclepion in Bergama gained prominence under the Romans in the 2nd century AD, but a sacred site existed here as early as the 4th century BC. The remains of Asclepion mostly belong to the arrangements promoted by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The entrance to the Sanctuary was led through Via Tecta (the Sacred Way). At the end of the road, there is the monumental entrance (Propylon). Following the entrance there is a large courtyard surrounded by colonnaded galleries. The library, theatre, temples, pools, fountains, underground tunnel, and sleeping rooms can be seen on the site. It is also the city of Galenos, the founder of pharmacy and the Roman Empire's court physician.

Red Courtyard

Built in the second century AD in the name of Egyptian gods and known today as Kızılavlu, the temple stands in the middle of the city in all its glory. The temple which was built during the Roman Empire is one of the largest Roman structures still surviving. The temple is thought to have been used for the worship of the Egyptian gods specifically Isis and/or Serapis. The temple was built on top of the River Selinus. The river was channelled into two tunnels passing diagonally for a distance of about 150 metres. The temple was converted by the Byzantines into a Christian church dedicated to Saint John. Today the ruins of the main temple and one of the side rotundas can be visited, while the other side rotunda is still in use as a small mosque.

Archaeology Museum

Most of the findings in the museum consist of artefacts from various periods unearthed during excavations in Bergama and its vicinity. Among the artefacts exhibited in the museum; are the bust of Diadoros Pasporos who was the leading statesman and benefactor at Pergamon, and the relief slabs of his tomb monument, the statue of the Roman Emperor Hadrianus, the statue of Nike, which has become the symbol of Pergamon, the sarcophagus, figured steles reflecting the burial traditions of the ancient period, the statue of Nymph from the rescue excavation of Allianoi, a statue of a young man (Kuros) from the Archaic period, a mosaic with the head of Medusa, and Hellenistic terracotta figures attract attention. In the ethnography section of the museum, local clothes of the old tribes, bridal and daily clothes, carpets, rugs, and saddlebags of Bergama are worth seeing.

Old Town

Bergama bazaar was formed by the gathering of different guilds, namely bootmakers, shoemakers, drapers, saddlers, and agricultural merchants in the 14 th -15th centuries onwards. Inns and bedesten (built for the sale of valuable goods) were added to the bazaar to facilitate commercial activities. Many mosques built by the Seljuks and Ottomans have turned the city centre into an open-air museum. Bergama has traditional houses which play a great role in understanding and recognizing the identity, culture, and prosperity level of the inhabitants in the past. The neighbourhood of Kale is an urban heritage area where the masonry houses were inherited from the Greeks. The shops selling traditional rugs and carpets, the recently restored synagogue, the Roman Bridge, and historical Turkish baths constitute the other cultural heritages. As well as cheese, pine nuts, olives, and olive oil, Bergama’s most well-known local delicacy is the “Çığırtma” dish made of eggplants grown in the region.

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