Pergamum: The Red Basilica and Ancient Archeological Treasures
- Red Basilica: First dedicated to the Egyptian God of the Underworld, this marble and red-brick structure was also a Christian church and is now a mosque.
- Archeological Museum: See a scale replica of the "Throne of Satan" mentioned in the New Testament, plus artifacts excavated from Pergamum's Acropolis.
- Acropolis views: Gain a memorable perspective on this rich archeological site known for its temples, theater, and celebrated library.
About This Dikili Tour
As a center of pagan worship, Pergamum was called a "place where Satan dwells" in the Book of Revelation. Its centerpiece, the massive Altar of Zeus, features a 370-foot long marble frieze depicting giants and gods locked in mortal combat – possibly the greatest narrative relief in the history of sculpture. Many scholars believe this altar is the "Throne of Satan" described in Revelation. If so, it was prophetically named – German archeologists made off with it and put it on display in Berlin in 1930, just in time to inspire the 20th century's most evil spirit.
Adolf Hitler used the altar as a model for the massive grandstand he spoke from at Nazi rallies in Nuremberg. The original had been a place where innocents were sacrificed in pagan ritual; the 20th-century version was the site of fiery speeches that ultimately led to the Holocaust.
Today, the altar has three iterations. The Nuremburg grandstand shows decades of neglect. The original is a prized Berlin museum attraction (Turkey continues to appeal, unsuccessfully, to have it returned). And in Pergamum, a remarkable recreation of the Altar of Zeus honors its true heritage and strange history.
Pay no attention to that man behind the statue
In its day, the cathedral-sized Red Basilica must have been awe-inspiring. To begin with, it's immense – 200 feet by 85 feet, with walls more than 60 feet high. And it was dominated by a huge cult statue, more than 30 feet tall, that surely astounded worshippers when it "spoke." But this Wizard-of-Oz-like effect can be explained – you can still see the secret hole where priests entered to hide inside and give the statue its voice.
Meeting points are at the Dikili Cruise Port, Hotel, or Izmir International Airport and look for our tour representative with the displayed logo sign. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you.
We recommend our travelers to watch their step at all times in order to avoid any potential injury. The order of the tour may vary to avoid congestion at the venues.
Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommend for travelers using walkers or wheelchairs. Travelers must be able to walk approximately 0.5 mile over uneven terrain including cobblestone surfaces, inclines, and 10 to 20 steps.
Cultural, Scenic, Walking Tour
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended to travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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