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Bergama (District Municipality, Turkey)

Last modified: 2019-11-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Bergama - Image by Jens Pattke, 15 December 2012

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Presentation of Bergama

The municipality of Bergama (101,004 inhabitants in 2012, 61,406 in the town proper; 17,224 ha) is the northernmost district in İzmir Province.

Ivan Sache, 21 February 2016

Flag of Bergama

The flag of Bergama (photo) is red with a white statue. "Belediyesi" means "Municipality".

The emblem of the municipality features a statue recalling to the ancient town of Pergamon.
After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, Pergamon was a city-state incorporated to the territory controlled by Lysimachus. In 282 BC, Lysimachus was killed in a battle fought against Seleucus; his lieutenant, Philatauerus, proclaimed himself his successor in the fortress of Pergamon and pled allegiance to Seleucus. Attalus I (241-197 BC), the founder of the Attalid dynasty, was the first ruler of Pergamon who used the title of king. Attalus ruled the most powerful kingdom in Anatolia and defeated the Galatians. His successor, Eumenes II, reigned until 159 BC; he took the Roman party and was appointed ruler of the former Seleucid kingdom.
Pergamon must have counted some 10,000 inhabitants at the time. Fond of culture, Eumenes II established a library that challenged the monopoly exerted by Alexandria; upset, King Ptolemy IV banned the export of papyrus to Pergamon, where a new writing support was developed, soon known as parchment (Spanish, pergamino; Italian, pergamena).
Attalus III (138-133 BC) could not preserve the independence of Pergamon, which was made the capital of the Roman province of Asia, soon transferred to Ephesus after civil unrest had broken in the town. Pergamon thrived under Hadrian (117-138) but declined in the next century, being damaged by an earthquake and sacked by the Goths in 262.
[Ancient History Encyclopedia]

The ruins of Pergamon were excavated by the German archeologist Carl Humann (1839-1896) from 1876 to 1866. In agreement with the Ottoman Government, his findings were transported to Berlin, where they are exhibited in the Pergamon Museum. The most striking element of the museum is the reconstruction of the Great Altar of Zeus and Athena, built by Eumenes II, from 166 to 156 BC. The statue represented on the municipal emblem must be part of the monument.
[ Encyclopedia of Art and Classical Antiquity]

Tomislav Šipek & Ivan Sache, 21 February 2016

Bergama Chamber of Commerce

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of BERTO, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 2 September 2019

BERTO (website) was established on 20 August 1925 by 165 founding members, as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to be renamed to Chamber of Commerce in 1947. Current membership is 1,938.

The flag of BERTO (photo, photo) is white with the organization's emblem.
The former flag of BERTO (photo, photo, photo, photo) was white with the organization's former emblem.
The two emblems allude to the old town of Pergamon and its theater.

The Hellenistic theater at Pergamum (Pergamon) is the centerpiece of the acropolis of the ancient city, which is located just north of the modern-day town of Bergama on Turkey's northern Aegean coast. The first theater on the site was built in the earliest days of the Attalid Kingdom (late 3rd century BC). Fragments of polygonal masonry from the retaining wall (analemmata) of the theater remain, but ruins such as the stone tower above and behind the theatron are of Byzantine origin.

The theater whose ruins we see today was built during the reign of Eumenes II (197-159). Eumenes used the acropolis of Athens as inspiration and expanded the city accordingly, building such landmarks at the famous Pergamene Library and the Altar of Zeus. The theater was renovated and enlarged as part of Eumenes' overall plan for the acropolis of his city. The theatron is sited against the steep acropolis incline preserving the building space at the top for the municipal buildings of Pergamon.
The theater at Pergamum has seventy-eight rows of seats and is divided into three horizontal seating sections. Two horizontal walkways (diazomata) separate upper and lower sections of theatron seating. Radiating stairways (klimakes) divide each of the three seating sections into wedge-shaped seating sections (kerkides). The seats are made from andesite and trachyte, except for a marble seat of honor, which was located above the center of the first diazoma. Because of the physical limitations of the building site, the theatron could not be larger than a semicircle, as was standard for Hellenistic theatres. To make up for the lack of width the theater was extended vertically to 122 feet above the orchestra. It is the steepest theater of the ancient world. Despite the Attalids' mastery of Hellenistic architecture, the steepness of the acropolis imposed design restrictions on the theater. Consequently, the proskenion at Pergamon overlaps Vitruvius' basic circle of the orchestra by twenty-three and a half feet.

Another unique feature of the theater is its lack of a permanent stage or stage building. Post holes remain as evidence that plays were performed on a portable wooden stage that was removed between performances. Three rows of quadrangular holes remain in the floor of the theater terrace that once held the wooden support beams for the temporary stage. The 64 holes were cut in groups that allowed for different architectural arrangements of stage and scene building. The holes are cut into slabs or light-colored, hard stone that differs from the darker stone of the rest of the terrace. Three openings were left between holes for doors at the front of the stage, and diagonally arranged holes at the side of the stage indicate two side entrances (parodoi). When the stage was stored away, the holes were covered by slabs of smooth stone.
[The Ancient Theater Archive]

Ivan Sache, 2 September 2019