It is a famous tourism city which has the first
underwater archaeology museum of Turkey in its gorgeous castle inherited
from Rhodes Knights. The oldest known name of it is Halikarnas
(Halicarnassus). In ancient times, Halikarnas was a city of Karya covering
the whole Mugla and some part of Aydin. According to Homer epics, people
called Karyas and Lelegs lived in this country. Karyas joined the 10-year
Troy War beside Trojans.
According to the famous historian
Herodotus born in Halikarnas, the city was rebuilt by the Dor emigrants in
7th century BC. With the dominance of Persians, invading Anatolia, over
Karya and its neighbourhood in 546 BC, Halikarnas was governed by the local
princes subordinate to Persians. It became the capital of Karya at the time
of King Mausolos. After a while, it was conquered and devastated by the
armies of Alexander the Great. After it was dominated by Egypt, Rome,
sailors in Rhodes, Pontus Kingdom and Byzantine supremacy in order,
Halikarnas was dominated by Menteşeoğulları Principality in the second half
of 13th century and was conquered by Rhodes Knights at the beginning of 15th
century. During the Rhodes State of War in 1522, it entered into Ottoman at
the time of Sultan Suleiman the Lawmaker.
The main works of art in Bodrum are the mausoleum of Mausolos, the
Roman age theatre and Bodrum Castle. Mausoleion, defined as one of the Seven
Wonders of the World in Ancient Time, was made by the wife Artemisia for the
dead King Mausolos. This gorgeous work of art consisting of the marble
sculptures of Mausolos and Artemisia in a coach with four horses on the top,
some kind of temple side in Ionic style surrounded by 36 columns on a high
ground and a pyramid with 24 steps built on it was 42 meter in height. The
word mausoleum used for the equivalent of the monumental tomb comes from
Mausoleion was surrounded by a marble
wall. Many parts of this wall have been uncovered in the recent digs. The
length of the wall is about 242 meter in the north and 105 meter in the
We have only the basis of Mausoleion
today. This gorgeous building, which even Alexander the Great did not allow
being ravaged and survived for ages, was destroyed by the earthquakes from
time to time and its marbles were used in the construction of Bodrum Castle
by Rhodes Knights in the Middle Age. The relief, representing a fight with
Amazons and found on the castle wall in the middle of 18th century, and the
relief, uncovered by the digs, and the sculptures of Mausolos and his wife
Artemisia were taken to England with the permission of the sultan. These are
exhibited in British Museum. Two relief pieces, found in the digs recently,
are in Bodrum Museum.
The small but beautiful Roman age
theatre near the main road passing through the upper side of the city has
been restored to a great extent. On the high towers of the castle which was
one of the safest buildings of middle age in Anatolia and built by Rhodes
Knights, we meet with the unique view of the sea and the city.
In order to reinforce the defence in the
castle which started to be built at the beginning of 15th century, new
towers such as English Tower, French Tower, Italian Tower, German Tower, and
Spanish Tower were built in different dates. The castle, built in the name
of Saint Petrus, is in the middle of two bays and on Zephyria cliff which
was once an island and then the gap of which between the lands was filled.
The castle was named as Petronium meaning Petrus Island because of Saint
Petrus and this turned into Bodrum by changing in time.
consisting of three walls and five towers one within the other is seen
everywhere in Bodrum. It is used as museum today. Besides the underwater
foundlings, underground foundlings, uncovered around Bodrum, take place in
the museum, too. The Mycenaean age vases dated as 14th 12th centuries BC
and unearthed in Ortakent (Müsgebi) are exhibited in the Gothic church in
the castle. These are the most valuable Mycenaean works of art except the
ones in Greece. In the same place, there are vases belonging to the oldest
Dor settlement known in Anatolia and dated as 9th 8th centuries BC and
uncovered in Gökçebel (Dirmil) in Bodrum region and there is a tomb dated as
9th century BC and made out of terra-cotta. The sections, in which the
valuable and unique works of art removed from the underwater are exhibited,
are the most interesting areas of the museum. In the past, the pots called
amphora and got caught in the fishnets of the spongers and fishers were
being used in order to cool water at home or sold. Also, the Underwater
Archaeology Museum takes place in Bodrum Castle. Here, the bronze piles and
the tools removed from a sunken belonging to the Bronz Age are exhibited.
The last treasure unearthed from the
mystery of the blueness is a Fatımi ship detected as sunken 935 years ago.
Many valuable things have been taken from this ship. Also, the ship has been
removed as a result of the five-year scientific underwater digs. The glass
objects in the Bodrum Museum are one of the four biggest glass collections
in the world. The cannon blockhouse at the entrance of the castle has turned
into the art gallery where the exhibitions are opened constantly. Bodrum
Castle and Museum are the treasures of the history which are curiously
visited by the people coming to the city for holiday.
Bodrum was a
small harbour of fisher and sponger until 1960. Bodrum and its neighbourhood
acquired fame and became a holiday city attracting much attention with the
Blue Cruises which Halikarnas Balıkçısı organized with his artist friends
such as Sabahattin Eyuboğlu and Azra Erhat.
Halicarnassos or Bodrum with its new
name... The place where Heredot, the father of the history, lived and the
heart of the enjoyable beaches, interesting myths, snow-white houses and
unlimited nightlife beats...