Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pergamon Museum 1 -- Classical Antiquities

John and I were eager to visit the Pergamon altar on Berlin's Museum Island but nothing really prepares you for the first view of the 2nd century BC edifice when you walk through the entrance door and see the massive structure.
Here is a model of the ancient Hellenistic city of Pergamon with the altar built by King Eumenes II to commemorate a military victory in Asia Minor.
That's the altar on the platform. It certainly drives home the idea of the sophistication of ancient civilizations.
Now let's look back once more at the scale of the altar. Amazing!
 The courtyard in front of the altar is covered in a splendid sculptural frieze depicting the battle between the Olympian gods and the Giants.
John loved this giant with his head in the jaws of a wolf
and this elegant visitor contemplating the altar.
I loved this eager group of young students on the altar steps. I couldn't have conceived of visiting such an exciting place when I was their age! We're a long way from Port Robinson, Ontario.
Let's go up the steps past this this awesome sculptural fragment of a giant serpent and a winged figure
past these bedazzled visitors listening to their audio tours
to the sacrificial space with it's frieze of images about Telephos, the legendary founder of the city of Pergamon.
We were as in awe as this lovely young visitor,.
In an adjoining room the treasures continue with the Market Gates of Miletus from the coast of Turkey, a Roman edifice built around 100 AD. It had been destroyed by an earthquake and reconstructed here and then rebuilt again after being damaged by bombing in the 2nd World War.
The niches would have been filled with statues of civic worthies.
Oversize fragments abound!