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The Pergamon Altar (Ancient Greek: Βωμός τῆς Περγάμου) is a monumental construction built during the reign of the Ancient Greek King Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd century BC on one of the terraces of the acropolis of Pergamon in Asia Minor.

The Pergamon Altar reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

The structure is 35.64 metres (116' 31/32") wide and 33.4 metres (109' 6 5/8") deep; the front stairway alone is almost 20 metres (65' 11/16") wide. The base is decorated with a frieze in high relief showing the battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods known as the Gigantomachy. There is a second, smaller and less well-preserved high relief frieze on the inner court walls which surround the actual fire altar on the upper level of the structure at the top of the stairs. In a set of consecutive scenes, it depicts events from the life of Telephus, legendary founder of the city of Pergamon and son of the hero Heracles and Auge, one of Tegean king Aleus's daughters.

In 1878, the German engineer Carl Humann started official excavations on the acropolis of Pergamon, an effort that lasted until 1886.

Carl Humann's 1881 plan of the Pergamon acropolis

In Berlin, Italian restorers reassembled the panels comprising the frieze from the thousands of fragments that had been recovered. In order to display the result and create a context for it, a new museum was erected in 1901 on Berlin's Museum Island. Because this first Pergamon Museum proved to be both inadequate and structurally unsound, it was demolished in 1909 and replaced with a much larger museum, which opened in 1930. This new museum is still open to the public on the island. Despite the fact that the new museum was home to a variety of collections beyond the friezes (for example, a famous reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon), it was named the Pergamon Museum for the friezes and reconstruction of the west front of the altar. The Pergamon Altar is today the most famous item in the Berlin Collection of Classical Antiquities,[citation needed] which is on display in the Pergamon Museum and in the Altes Museum, both of which are on Berlin's Museum Island.

It was announced that on September 29, 2014 the Pergamon Exhibit will be closed for 5 years for a complete remodeling of the exhibit hall, including but not limited to construction of a new glass ceiling and a new climate control system.[1]

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