Gobekli Tepe and Gymnasium of Pergamon, Turkey

Gymnasium of Pergamon, Turkey

Gobekli Tepe

Thousands of years old stone circles

If you think of a circle of stones that was thousands of years old and built by human hands, you first think of Stonehenge in England. Tourists almost always make a detour to nearby Amesbury on their travels. There is undoubtedly an imposing complex waiting here, which is still debated over whether it is a meeting place, a temple, a burial site or even an early observatory. But the stone blocks piled up around 2500 – 2000 BCE have already faced serious competition for several years, namely Göbekli Tepe.

Interesting constructions and hit figures

According to topschoolsintheusa, Göbekli Tepe is located about 15 kilometers northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa in southeast Turkey. Here, too, several circular formations made from erected stone constructions were found. They were actually discovered in the 1960s, but their significance was still misunderstood at that time. It was only during a visit to the facility that the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt realized what a historical find it actually represented. Since then, there has been a long-term excavation site of the German Archaeological Institute here. But why is Göbekli Tepe, which means something like “bellied hill”, such an attraction? This is simply due to the age, because in the earliest finds it is dated to around 10,000 BCE. The system is thus rewriting our history books.

UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018

The suspicion is that the so-called T-pillars, which were installed here in several circular formations, represented a temple. However, at a time when people weren’t even settled. The symbols and animal figures carved into the stones also testify to high quality and beauty. Some three-dimensional animals were even carved out of the stone, which can be seen on trips to Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. Göbekli Tepe has been a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018, but it is still being dug and researched. On study trips, interested visitors have the opportunity to find out about the latest findings and to watch our history being rewritten.

Gymnasium of Pergamon

Geographical location:

The ancient Greek city of Pergamon is a worthwhile travel destination for those interested in archeology and art lovers. Located in the north-west of Turkey, the city of Bergama today is one of the most important cultural centers of the Hellenistic period.

Construction task and architectural system:

The complex terrace on the southern slope of the Acropolis featured numerous public buildings. The gymnasium of Pergamon, a splendidly laid out site for athletic training and education, was founded in the 2nd century BC. built under Eumedes II and extended over a total of three terraces. The task of the grammar school was the development of personality and the development of mental and physical potential.

Terrace structure and column arrangements:

A magnificent archway in front of the lower terrace opened the way to the gymnasium. The upper terraces could be reached via a set of stairs. These three terraces once shaped the image of the city mountain of Pergamon significantly. The middle level was delimited to the north by a two-storey hall and to the east by a Corinthian prostyle, a temple shape with a row of columns in front of the vestibule.

The upper terrace showed a courtyard surrounded by porticos and buildings. The western end of this area was formed by an antenna temple built in Ionic column order as a sanctuary in the gymnasium. Research has shown that the columns of the temple were initially planned in a Doric order, before implementation with the slimmer and more elegant-looking Ionic columns was implemented. In ancient Greece, column architecture was a characteristic element of public buildings.

After five years of reconstruction, the column position was reopened for the 140th anniversary of the excavation in September of this year. A major sponsor of the work was the Studiosus Foundation, which has long been dedicated to preserving the ancient heritage in Pergamon.

Condition of the system:

During German excavations since 1878, the ruins, extensively preserved due to their favorable location on the terraced mountainside, were uncovered and made accessible to the public. Today the city of Bergama is one of the most famous centers in the ancient world. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place is very popular with study travelers due to the excellent processed archaeological finds and evaluations.

The Whirling Dervishes of Konya

Konya is the name of the eponymous and largest province in Turkey. The city to the south of Ankara is known for the spectacle of the so-called “Whirling Dervishes”. These are members of an Islamic order who call themselves Sufi or Mevlevi-Sufi. The term “dervish” is derived from the Persian word “dar”, in English “door”.

They are famous for their special dances, in which they forget about their own axis for hours. The goal of these dances is to get into a trance and through the trance into contact with God. Due to the impressive spectacle, many visitors from all over the world come to Konya to see this dance for themselves.

The Sufi have existed as long as Islam, that is, since the seventh century. As a fringe group in Islam, they tried from the beginning to tread mystical ways in order to come into contact with God. Ascetic exercises such as not sleeping, sacrificing comfort, insensitivity to weather conditions, etc. played a major role.

Today, Sufis are understood to mean all currents in Islam that have ascetic traits. The dervishes are now a group within Sufism. Their trance dances are considered on the one hand to become one with the divine, on the other hand they were and are viewed by some Muslims as un-Islamic.

Above all, they are accused of using music and condemned by some devout believers as inconsistent with the Koran. Regardless of these points of contention, since it is also home to the mausoleum of the founder of the Mevlevi Order, Konya is a place of pilgrimage for many Sufis.

Gymnasium of Pergamon, Turkey