Turkey’s port city of Dikili is where we stop off for the ancient city of Pergamon. This was the location of the northernmost of the seven churches of Asia Minor according to the book of Revelation in the New Testament.
Pergamon means fortress or acropolis. The city was at the heart of a powerful kingdom and held the reputation as a political and cultural centre in the Byzantine era.
After lunch at a local restaurant we drive to the remains of the Asklepion, one of the world’s first hospitals. It’s a complex of mostly open-air buildings connected by porticoes dedicated to the god of Healing, Asclepius.
Excavations date the construction of the temple to the 4th century BC, but it mainly flourished during the Roman period, thanks to the efforts of Hadrian.
As well as facilities for the care of patients, the Asklepion also included a theatre for up to 3,500 spectators, lecture halls and a library.
After our tour of the Asklepion, we return the port of Dikili and to the ship.