The Asklepion of Pergamon was a renowned center for medical treatment and healing in ancient Greece and Rome, along with the medical senatoriums of Epidarius and Kos. According to the famous writer Pausanias, the senatorium was established in Pergamon in the 4th century BC as a health center and was expanded during the Hellenistic period. However, its most prosperous time was during the 2nd century AD.
In the Roman period, there was a sacred path connecting the lower city to the Asclepion, which was about a mile long. Sick patients were said to walk barefoot along this path, where both sides were lined with stores selling images of fake organs. By the time they reached the end of the road with these images, the doctors could partially understand where the patients’ aches were located in their bodies. The road was surrounded by porticos that provided shelter from both the sun and snow in summer and winter.
The Sanctuary of Asclepion had a large galleried courtyard, a 3,500-seat theater for entertainment shows, a hall dedicated to the cult of Emperor Hadrian, who was said to have been healed there and donated to the expansion of the Asclepion. There was also a library containing medical works for patients to read during their treatment, grateful inscriptions on the walls from patients who had recovered from their illnesses, a fountain and mud bath section, a large, dark healing tunnel where patients were invited to walk in the darkness and listen to the holy sound of the healing god Asclepios, a sleeping court in the hospital where doctors whispered advice to patients as a divine voice, and a long underground tunnel in the south corner of the sanatorium to protect patients from cold and hot air.
The underground tunnel was located near the north of the Asclepion Sanctuary and had a circular design. The temple was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, which was built in 150 AD by consul LC Rufinus. The entrance was adorned with colonnaded porticos and alternates with seven ranked niches. In the niche opposite the entrance was the cult statue of the god Asclepius, which inspired belief in the treatments and cures provided at the hospital.
The treatment methods and types of cures used at the Asclepion of Pergamon can be learned from 2nd century AD orator Aelius Aristides, who stayed there for 13 years. Doctors used a combination of inspiring and physiotherapy methods that are still common today, such as drinking holy water, taking mud baths, walking barefoot in the snow, thirst cures, hunger cures, using medicinal herbs, hearing the sound of water, and engaging in daily exercise. Additionally, gaining weight and lubricating the skin with cream were also popular treatment methods used at the Asclepion, which attracted millions of people seeking not only to recover from their illnesses, but also to improve their overall health at this famous spa, considered the oldest version of the Mayo Clinic.
The Asclepion of Pergamon is a fascinating historical site that provides insight into the ancient world’s approach to healthcare and wellness. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and well-preserved remains, it is an unforgettable destination for history and culture enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the underground tunnel, the sacred way, the galleried courtyard, the theater structure, the library, the healing tunnel, the sleeping court, and the holy sources, each of which provides a glimpse into the practices and beliefs of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Not only does a visit to the Asclepion offer a unique educational experience, but it also offers a chance to unwind and relax. The mud bath sections, fountain, and peaceful surroundings provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With its reputation as a famous spa, the Asclepion of Pergamon remains a popular destination for those seeking rest and rejuvenation.
Tour Maker Turkey offers tailored tours to the Asclepion of Pergamon, providing guests with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the history and beauty of this remarkable site. Our knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through time, sharing the stories and legends of the Asclepion, and ensuring that you make the most of your visit. With comfortable transportation, well-organized itineraries, and a commitment to providing an unforgettable experience, Tour Maker Turkey is the perfect choice for anyone looking to visit the Asclepion of Pergamon.
So, why wait? Book your tour to the Asclepion of Pergamon with Tour Maker Turkey today and discover the magic of this incredible historical site. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history and beauty of the Bergama Asklepion with Tour Maker Turkey.