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Bodrum is not only a tourism star with its typical White houses;cystal clear sea and night life but also owns a great archeological history.Heredotus ‘’ The father of the History’’ is originally from Halikarnassos/Bodrum. The city of Bodrum is built on ancient city of Halikarnassos. Visitors from all over the World is attracted by the beauty of Bodrum and its deep history where they meet at St Peter Castle; Ancient Theatre, Mausoleion ,Myndos Gate and Museum of Underwater Archeology.

Halikarnassos was the capital of Carian Region in B.C IV. Century. This was the glamorous period with its city walls,Myndos Gate,temples,Ancient theatre and palaces. Mausoleion which is among the 7 wonders of the World’s was built within this period. Beside ancient remains of Hlikarnassos, XV. Century Castle of St.Jean Knights and Museum of Underwater Archeology should be in your bucket list. The history of Bodrum, known as Halicarnassus or Halicarnassos goes back to the 13th century BC. Excavaties reveal the 5000 year old history of this town.


The castle was built by St.Jean Knights between 1406-1522.  The roots of St.Jean Knights based on the pilgrims who attended Crusades and the hospital built by them in 1048. The aim was to serve sick and injured pilgrims. So they created military and religious organization under the command of Augustinus on 1108. When knights left Jerusalem in 1291, they located in Cyprus for a short time and moved to Rhodes and surrounding islands in 1309. St.Jean Knights reached Halikarnassos in 1406.
Knights started to build the castle over an old Turkish castle and took 98 years to complete the castle.
After Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent’s Rhodes campaign in 5 January 1523, Bodrum Castle was captured by the Ottomans. The castle used as a prison for a while. After it was bombarded French Battleship during World War 1 on 1915;left abandoned.
St.Peter castle is serving as a museum of underwater archaeology since 1960. You could visit world’s important archeological discoveries of underwater here.


Bodrum Castle was built by the St. Jean Knights on the site of a Turkish Castle built by sailors of the Menteşe Principality in 1261-1269 on a peninsula which came into being in 1st century A.D. when an island known as Zephyra during the Stone Age joined the mainland. After the Ankara Battle in 1403, the St. Jean Knights asked Mehmet Çelebi for a site to built a castle as a recompense for their demolished castle in Izmir and Mehmet Çelebi gave permission to the St. Jean Knights to build a castle in Bodrum. The most important European nations started to build the castle in 1406 under the leadership of the St. Jean Knights. The construction continued intermittently until the end of 1522. There are French, British, German, Italian and Spanish towers in the Castle.

After Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent’s Rhodes campaign in 5 January 1523,  Bodrum Castle was captured by the Ottomans. It began to be used as a prison in 1895 during Abdulhamit II’s reign. It was abandoned in 26 May 1915 after being bombarded by British and French battle ships. The Museum Directorship was established in 1963 and in 6 November 1964 the first exhibition hall was opened. The Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is Turkey’s only Underwater Archaeology Museum and it is one of the world’s most important Underwater Archaeology Museums.

Bodrum Castle has a square-like plan. Its dimensions are 180x185m. Its highest point is 47.5 m above sea level. The castle is entered through the first door situated at its northwestern corner. There are 7 doors until the inner castle. The northern and western sides of the castle are double-walled. The northern and western ditches were passed through suspension bridges during the Knights’ time. The thick walled structure with a sloping roof  at the west side of the castle is a cannon blockhouse. All the towers and various places in Bodrum Castle have been converted into exhibition halls.



The biggest group of artifacts in the Museum are the amphoras. The world’s biggest Eastern Mediterranean Amphora collection is in Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum. The exhibit is situated under a shed in the lower courtyard. Amphora is a word formed out of the Greek words amphi (two sided) and phoros (portable). These two-handled and portable jugs with a pointed bottom were used in the commerce of ancient times to carry and store wine, olive oil and dry foodstuff.

The exhibit is displayed chronologically starting from the 14th century B.C. until present-day jugs. The bottom of mastic amphoras are supported by nobs and there is a seal with a sphinx motif which is the island’s symbol on their necks. Mastic wine of antiquity is well known. The Knidos amphoras belong to the third century B.C. They have cone handles. These amphoras were transported by being stowed on top of each other thanks to their pointed bottoms and they are displayed the same way. Kos Amphoras are known for their twin handles.These amphoras have crab seals on their handles. Roman amphoras have thick and broad mouths, long necks, thin bodies and cylindrical handles. Carthagian amphoras have cylindrical bodies. Byzanthian amphoras have round bodies. The exhibit ends with contemporary Geyre pitchers. The amphora exhibit is supported with the use of pictures showing commercial sites of ancient times, harbour life and how wine and olive oil is made.



The Turkish Bath adjacent to the south wall was built in 1895 during the prison period. As opposed to the knights who were proud of the fact that they never washed, the Turkish Bath shows the service Ottomans provided for the prisoners. The Turkish Bath consists of the entrance, cooling room (dressing room), hot room (washing room) and the boiler room. For the first time in Turkey Turkish Bath matberials are exhibited in their own environment.



The chapel was built by the knights in 1402-1437 in a gothic style with a single nave. It was renovated by Spanish Knights between 1519-1520. After the castle was captured by the Ottomans the chapel of the knights was added a minaret and turned into a mosque.

In the chapel, an East Roman ship that had sunk in Turgutreis-Yassıada in 7th century A.D. is on display. The ship’s stern is built on a 1/1 scale and the foreship is shown just as it was found underwater. The main freight of the ship is wine carried in about 900 amphoras. The most important artifact found on the ship is a set of bronze scales. The name and title of the ship’s captain is engraved on it. The knob of the scale is in the shape of the Goddess Athena who symbolises reason and justice.



The Glass Hall is a rectangular building with a cut vault. In this hall, various glass works dated between 14th century B.C. and 11th century A.D. are displayed. In the first display window on the right, a Mycenaean glass bead string from the 14th century B.C. and glass nuggets dating to the same period that have been excavated from the shipwreck in Kaş Uluburun can be found. In other display windows glass finds obtained in ancient city excavations like Stratonikeia and Kaunos can be seen. A big part of the hall consists of the glass collection of the Serçe Limanı Shipwreck that is dated to 11th century A.D.

An aquarium has been placed inside one of the niches of this hall to show how underwater archaeological excavations are done. Inside this aquarium a fourth century A.D. early Byzantian Shipwreck Underwater Excavation is shown on a scale of 1/20. 



Here, finds belonging to a ship called Glass Shipwreck that was found at 24 miles west of Marmaris at Serçe Harbour near Bozukkale (the ancient city of Loryma) are on display. The sunken ship that is situated near the shore on a sandy ground at 32 metres depth lying on its larboard was dug by a team of Turks and Americans headed by Prof. George F. Bass. 25% of the ship has been completely excavated. The ship whose starboard is damaged is approximately 16 metres long, 5 metres wide and has a capacity of 35 tons.

In ancient times ships were built by nailing on their covering boards first. This ship is one of the oldest examples of the transition period between the ancient and  modern (frame system) methods of ship building. The Serçe Harbour Shipwreck was built using a technique close to the one being used in Bodrum shipyards today. In this system first the skeleton of the ship is formed by putting curves over the main keel and then it is covered with covering boards. The ship’s keel is made from elm, its frame and covering boards are made from pine. Wooden and copper nails were used during its building. It is believed to have had two masts and a Latin sail.

Its wood which had become extremely soft due to corrosion underwater was first cleared of salt by keeping it in fresh water tanks for two years where the water was constantly replaced. And later it was conserved with “P.E.G.” polyethylene glycol 1400 “synthetic wax”.

The glass that constitutes the main load of the ship come in 200 various forms and are dated to the first half of the 11th century. Other than glass doors in good condition, nearly two tons of broken glass nuggets have also been found. On the amphoras excavated from this ship a Greek name and some letters are engraved. Lentil and grape seeds have been found inside them.

The Serçe Harbour glass shipwreck boat and its load are displayed in a special hall built by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In the first part of the hall there are photographs, pictures and panels about the underwater excavation. A film about the story of the excavation is also shown. The hall where the ship is displayed is kept at 50% humidity and 22 degrees heat constantly.



The Spanish Tower is known as “Snake Tower” because of the snake relief found at the end of the lower entrance. The Snake Tower was used as an infirmary by the knights. At the top floor of the tower the cycle of “Birth-Life-Death” is depicted.

At the lower part of the tower there is an Amphora-Storage display. The Amphoras are placed as if they are sitting in a meeting room. The head of the meeting is the Canaan Amphora, which is the oldest one.



The tower in the shape of half a circle to the east of the Snake Tower is the German Tower. The German Tower is over the wall of the inner ditch. It was built in 1437-1440. At the northern facade of the German Tower four madallions are placed in the shape of a diamond motif. The topmost madallion is of John the Baptist. In the middle of the madallion is a Maltese cross. The German Tower is arranged so as to reflect the life of the knights in medieval times.



At the east of the German Tower “mass grave of galley slaves” is being displayed. At the excavation that was done in 1993 in front of the British Tower in Bodrum Castle, a 16th century dumping ground belonging to the Saint Jean knights was found. In this dumping ground lots of animal bones, pieces of ceramics, clay and remains of sea food was found. Inside the dumping ground, at 3.5 m under the ground 14 galley slave skeletons were found, 13 of these were found together in a group and one was found 20 metres away from the others. The galley slaves have shackles around their ankles. Other than the skeletons, belt buckles, beads, scissors, knives and coins have also been excavated. 4 of the silver coins belong to the Frenchman Emery d’Amboise who was the head of state of the knights. Thanks to the coins found at the sight it is understood that the mass killing of the galley slaves took place during Emery d’Amboise’s time.

In this hall, part of the mass grave is on display the way it was lifted completely from the sight. Information and photographs about the excavation can also be found here.



There are two towers inside the inner ditch enclosed by thick rampart walls. These towers are the Gatineau and Caretto towers. The Caretto Tower was built on behalf of the head of state Fabrico Del Caretto (1513-1521). The Gatineau Tower was built by one of the tower commanders, Jacques Gatineau (1512-1514). The Gatineau Tower began to be used as a dungeoun (torture chamber) after its cannon embrasures were closed and its air funnels were sealed. The dungeon is entered through 23 steps and once inside, the torture chamber can be seen from the balcony in front of the door. The old cannon embrasure inside the walls to the left and right were converted into cells. There is an air funnel on top of each cell. The first funnel on the left is covered with an escutcheon. At the northwestern conrner of the chamber the gallows hole, in front of the hole a small torture area, on the floor a cannonball with a shackle attached to it, on the wall handcuffs with shackles and hanging from the roof the gallows cage can be seen. The dummy, the dungeon head and prisoners displayed here arouse interest with light illusions and sound effects used.



A sunken ship from 5th century B.C. was found in 1996 during research done by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) at Tektaş Cape on the south east of Çeşme. The excavation of the shipwreck was carried out in 1999-2001 by a team headed by Prof. Dr. George F. Bass. It is dated as belonging to 440-425 B.C. and it is 38-43 m under the sea. It is the only shipwreck belonging to the Classical era that has been excavated in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Tektaş Cape shipwreck belongs to a boat that was engaging in regional commerce on the Ionian shores. The main load of the ship consists of over 200 amphoras carrying wine, resin and beef. An interesting find on the ship were 2 marble disks that appear to be the ship’s eyes (ophtalmoi). In Ancient times sailors used to decorate their ships with these eyes to help them find their way in dangerous waters.



A well preserved boat appeared in Ödemiş-Gölcük when drought caused the lake water to decrease two metres below its normal level in September 2001. The boat was built by carving the trunk of a chestnut tree. It is 4.36 m long, 0.70 m wide and 0.54 m high. It is dated as belonging to the 13th century A.D. It is thought to have been used for fishing or carrying goods on the lake.



In 1989 during a foundation control done by the Museum experts, a sarcophagus was found. The skull of the skeleton inside the sarcophagus was taken to the Unit of Art in Medicine at the University of Manchester in England. The head was reconstructed here by Dr. Richard Neave and his team and the manager of the University’s Archaeological Museum Dr. John Prag. At early stages, this noble woman was named “Carian Princess” by our museum.

The find of the Carian Princess is displayed in a hall that is similar in construction to the Banquet Hall (Andron B) in Labranda. The banquet environment and furniture of 2400 years ago is shown. On the lintel carried by columns the life of Queen Ada is illustrated using coming book techniques. On the right of the hall the sarcophagus of the queen carved from a single stone is placed. Inside the sarcophagus the queen’s skeleton and bones of mice that had entered the sarcophagus and somehow couldn’t get out are on display. Inside the small niche seen after the sarcophagus a black glazed, clover mouthed container (oinokhoe) found between the grave room and the sarcophagus is displayed.

The Carian Princess’ appearance after it was reconstructed can be seen in all its glory inside a niche on the narrow side of the hall. There are golden ornamentations on her peplos (dress consisting of one piece of fabric) and blue beads on her girdle. Prof. Berna Alpagut examined Queen Ada’s bones. According to this, the woman died at 40  years of age. It is understood that she gave birth more than once. Her 32 teeth were found intact. According to Prof. Whittaken who examined the teeth profile, the age of the teeth are 44 (+-6). When one approaches the Carian Princess the whole hall lights up and the niches turn into display windows. The queen’s jewelry consisting of three rings, a golden crown and two necklaces can be seen. At the same time ancient Anatolian music can be heard. The Carian Princess Hall takes visitors to fourth century B.C. with its exhibitions.



The British Tower is on the southeastern corner of the castle. The foundations of the tower are seated on the main rock. The three storied tower has two entrances – one outside the western rampart and the other inside the castle. On the western wall there is a lion that is dated to the Archaic Age. Because of this lion people call this tower the lion tower. On the lion, British King Henry IV’s (1399-1413) royal crest can be found. The tower is entered through a drawbridge. The visitors find themselves in another age as soon as they step in the door. The upper floor of the British tower has been arranged to reflect a 500 years long history. From time to time employees dressed as ladies and knights welcome visitors and offer food and drinks. The hall is lighted with candles, incense is burned and the music of the age is played. Thus a display that appeals to the five senses has been created.

On the upper right crests of heads of state can be seen. And on the left 300 years of Turkish flags starting with the banner given by the Seljuks to the Ottomans and ending with the last form of the Turkish flag are shown. This collection also includes the three crescented green banner used by the Ottoman navy in the 16th century.

A pirate flag has been hung to each of the two corners facing each other. These are the Christian Pirate Flag which is the picture of a skull on a black background and the Turkish Pirate Flag which is a skull and an arm swinging a scimitar on a red background.

The banner hanging on the wall directly opposite the Turkish Flag is keepsakes of the Ottoman Army to the Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque. There are prayers on the banner and the emblem of Ottoman Turks in the middle.

On the wall opposite the door the banner of Thomas Docwra who was the commander of the castle in 1498-1499 is situated. The flags with a white cross over a red background belongs to the order of Saint Jean.

This tower was heavily damaged during the French bombardment in 1915. It was arranged as an exhibition hall after restoration.



This hall consists of three sections. In the first section artifacts from the Gelidonya Cape shipwreck of 2th century B.C. and the Şeytan Deresi Shipwreck of 16th century B.C. are displayed. On the left side of this section artifacts excavated from the world’s first scientific underwater excavation are placed. This shipwreck was shown to scientists by Captain Kemal Aras, owner of a sponge diving boat. The excavation of the shipwreck was carried out by George F. Bass in 1960. This is  a Syrian commercial ship belonging to a merchant. Finds taken out from the shipwreck gives us information about the commerce of the age. The ship sunk at Antalya-Finike-Gelidonya Cape, at the location of Beş Adalar with copper nuggets it got from Cyprus. Large earthenware jars (pithos) and amphoras found on the right side of the first hall were shown to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) by the sponge diver Cumhur İlik. The excavation of the shipwreck was carried out by Prof. George F. Bass in 1975.

In the second section the model of the Uluburun Shipwreck of 14th century B.C. can be seen on 1/1 scale. Under this model, the distribution of the shipwreck under water is displayed as it was found. In the third section various artifacts taken out from the excavation of the Kaş Uluburun shipwreck can be seen.

In the second hall the Kaş-Uluburn shipwreck is shown in the harbour and underwater. Such an exhibition is first of its kind in the world. This ship was shown in 1982 by the sponge diver Mehmet Çakır of Bodrum. The first scientific dive to this boat was carried out in October 1982 by a team from the Museum Directorship. The excavation of the shipwreck was done between 1984-1994 by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) under the chairmanship of first Prof. Dr. George F. Bass and then of Dr. Cemal Pulak.

The ship’s load is spread over an area at 44-61 depth. It is approximately 15 m long and is made of cedar wood. The rich load of the Uluburun ship consists mainly of raw materials. It was carried in the form of 10 ton pure copper nuggets. Also about 1 ton of pure tin nuggets have been taken hold of. Bronze alloy is produced by mixing tin and copper at a ratio of 1/10. Over 150 of the oldest known glass nuggets have been found on the Uluburun ship. Ebony tree logs, hippopotamus teeth and ostrich eggs are other raw materials carried on the ship. Terebinth resin, glass beads and olive was carried inside amphoras of three different sizes. Besides raw materials finished products were also found on the shipwreck. Oil lamps, bowls, tin containers, flasks, tile drink containers are other materials found on the shipwreck. A rich group of jewelry from Canaan Country was excavated from the shipwreck. Among the Egyptian artifacts in the shape of the scarab beetle used as personal seals or amulets, the golden seal of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten’s wife Nefertiti (1376-1358 B.C. or 1339-1327 B.C.) was found. The ship is thought to have sunk in the period after the reign of Nefertiti. The scarab was found among a scrap pile of jewellery on the shipwreck. Cylindirical seals of Babylonian, Syrian and Palestine origin were found on the ship. Ivory cosmetics boxes, beads, rings made out of seashells, a golden goblet without a handle, a bronze goddess statuette whose neck, hands and feet are covered with gold leaf (perhaps the ship’s guardian goddess?), swords of Canaan and Mycenian origin, weapons of near eastern origin, bronze tools, zoomorphic scale weights of Syrian-Palestinian origin and geometrical weights, a wooden writing plate held together with ivory hinges, fishnet sinkers show the richness of the ship’s load. The Uluburun ship is one of the most important finds of the last century. The cedar tree was used to date the ship to 1305 B.C. using dendrochronology.



In World War I Turkey entered the war against Austria, Bulgaria and their allies England, France, Russia, Greece and later Italy. The allied forces decided to investigate Bodrum Harbour and the boats in Bodrum. On 25 May 1915 a French battle cruiser anchored near Bodrum. The Commander of the Gendarmerie Lieutenant Rıfat Bey gave Ibrahim Nezihi Bey the duty of protecting Bodrum against any attempts of the French dublex battle ship at sending troops to the town to investigate it. The French tried three times to send troops to the harbour but they were unsuccessful each time. The French after leaving many casualties and prisoners behind, left Bodrum after bombarding the Castle and the Turkish Neighbourhood.

The tower at the southwestern end of the castle was restored and dedicated to the memories of İbrahim Nezihi Bey, who defended Bodrum with Lieutenant Rıfat Önal and the head of the district of Bodrum Faik Üstün on the 77th anniversary of the martyrdom of İbrahim Nezihi Bey in battle. The upper floor of the Commander Tower is arranged as the Commander’s room and the lower floor as his bedroom.

All the exhibitions at Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum are carried out in accordance with modern museumship.



It is one of the seven wonders of Ancient World. The mausoleum was started to build on B.C 335 by Mausolus who were the satrap of Caria. After his death; his wife Artemesia continued to build Mausoleion. It gave its name to all subsequent monumental tombs.  Mausoleion’s basement measures are 32 meters to 26 meters. It has 4 parts. The whole structure sat in the center of an enclosed courtyard on a stone platform. It has 36 ionic marble columns shaped the temple. At the top of the tomb there was a sculpture created by Pytheos. The carving depicted Mausolus and Artemisia in a chariot being pulled by four massive horses. Mausoleion’s height is around 45 meters. Its pyramical roof is formed of twenty-four steps, which gradually taper upwards towards the summit.Artemisia hired famous Greek artists to build the tomb. Two Greek architects Pytheos and Satyros designed the shape of the tomb. There were also a variety of artists who contributed various cultural influences to the tomb, including Greek, Lycian and Egyptian. Other Greek artists that worked on the Mausoleum includes Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros, Timotheus and Leochares. After defended itself for 1500 years,it cracked by the earthquake on 1304.You mest see it at Bodrum.


ANCIENT THEATRE/The Amphi-theatre

The theatre is a very good witness to the great history of Bodrum. It is situated on the hillside over looking Bodrum. The theatre has a capacity is around 13.000 was built during te Carian reign in the Hellenistic age (330 - 30 BC.) The Amphi-theatre consists of three main sections: a place for the audience(Cavea), a place for an orchestra and the stage.

Cavea is seperated to 11 parts with 12 stairs. The stage building had originally two-floors,which you could observe remainings today. The orchestra place is bigger than half-circle which has an altar in front of it for serving sacrifices to Dionysos before Gladiator fights. Between orchestra and cavea,there were barriers in order to prevent audience from wild animals fighting with gladiators.

It became an open-air museum after the excavations and restorations in 1973 which was done by Prof. Ümit Serdaroglu.



Myndos Gate was one of the two entrances of ancient Halicarnassus. It was part of the towns wall. The gate is surrounded by room-shape tombs and mosaics from Hellenistic and Roman period. The gate had its name because it was facing to ancient Myndos town located in Gümüşlük. The gate was supported by three towers, only one of them survived till today.

When Alexander the Great came to Halicarnassus on 334BC, he had his headquarters near here. His first attack was towards the Milas(Mylasa) gate but he couldn't succeed.Mylasa gate does not exist anymore. After that; Alexander the Great made its way towards Myndos gate and entered the city from here. According to Arrianus, who describes Myndos gate and and the siege of Alexander the Great in 334, the gate is referred as 'Tripollion’and evidenced the existence of three towers. It was also mentioned that in front of the gate there was a ditch of 8 meters depth and 15 meters long. The middle part of the gate is totally destroyed. However the ruins from the two other parts still exist and consist of huge and heavy square stones.

Alexander the Great conquered the town, destroyed it. The only place he did not touch was mausoleum.

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