söndag 22 juni 2014

The Throne of Satan from Pergamum to Berlin

All that is left of the ancient city Pergamum are worn and looted ruins. The main sites of Pergamum are to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama in Turkey. Even if the town was known for it's beauty it was also one of the darkest and greediest cities in the Roman Empire. Because it was a political and economical center in the province Asia Minor the city had a unique status that differed it from other cities in the Roman Empire. Pergamum was one of the most influential cities in the Empire and a also the center for worship of the Roman Emperor who was believed to be part god and part human in ancient times. 

There was also a temple for worship of the Wargodess Athena. But the most important altar for worship in the City was the Great Altar of Zeus which is also mentioned as the Throne of Satan in the Book of Revelation in the Bible: 
“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘I know your works, and where you dwell... where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to my name, and did not deny my faith even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells - Revelation 2:12

In 1878 the German engineer Carl Humann started to dismantle the Altar of Zeus from the since long abandoned city of Pergamum and took it to Berlin. The altar was stored until the building of a new museum in Berlin started in 1910. Due to war and economic depression in Germany the museum was not opened for visitors until 1930. The Great Altar of Zeus or the Throne of Satan that some people call it went on display in Berlin's Pergamon Museum in 1930 together with a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon. The Ishtar Gate are also known as the gates of hell. 

It might just have been a coincidence but just three years after the grand opening of the museum Germany experienced a revival from hell when Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany and soon it's dictator and Führer. Adolf Hitler decided to commission the young architect Albert Speer to design the new parade grounds for his big party rallies in Nuremberg. Albert Speer took the inspiration from the Great Altar of Zeus in Berlin when he designed the colossal altar for his Führer.

The altar became known as the Zeppelintribüne and it was here that Adolf Hitler received the adoration of the masses at the political rallies in Nuremberg. I am convinced that Adolf Hitler thought that he was part god and part human when he stood on top of his altar in Nuremberg and received deafening salutations from hundreds of thousand devoted followers and worshipper that would soon follow him into death. 


Text and Photo: Mikael Good

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