Bodrum (from Petronium), formerly Halicarnassus (Turkish: Halikarnas), is a Turkish port town in Muğla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of the country. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and it faces the Greek island of Kos. Today, it is an international center of tourism and yachting. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times. The Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was here.
Bodrum Castle, built by the Crusaders in the 15th century, overlooks the harbour and the International Marina. The castle grounds include a Museum of Underwater Archeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year.
Historic Riches of BODRUM
Bodrum is not only a town of sea, sun and fun nights. The story of civilisation in Bodrum has a history going back 3,000 years. The historian Herodotus says that the city was founded in 1000 BC by the Dorians on the location where the castle is today. In those days the place was an island. The height of Halicarnassus was in the 4th century BC. During the 24 years rule of King Mausolus he made the city the capital of Caria and began construction of the magnificent monument, the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Unfortunately, all that remains of the Mausoleum are its foundations. King Mausolus died before the monumental tomb was completed and the work was continued under the direction of his wife and his sister, Artemisia II. However, before its completion she also died, though artisans completed the work. In the end a marvellous architecture, an Ionic style temple of 42 metres square surrounded with 36 columns, was built on top of a pyramid which was climbed by 24 steps, surmounted by a statue of Mausolus and his wife riding a chariot. Some of the statues and pieces from the Mausoleum are today displayed in the British Museum. They were not looted, with permission for the artworks to be taken to Britain given by the sultan of the day. After the death of Artemisia, Isruis replaced her and then Princess Ada took the throne. Ada who was overthrown by her younger brother and sister, was returned to the throne by Alexander the Great when he took the city in 334 BC.
Following the Alexanderian era, the region came under the rule of Lysimachos in 301 BC and later was controlled by Ptolemid kings. In 180 BC, Bodrum was associated with Rhodes and then, in 167 BC, to the Kingdom of Bergama. It was in 4th century AD, under the rule of the Carians, that the region became a centre of an episcopacy. In 1247, the Menteşe Beyliği (Turkic kingdom) was founded here and during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent it became a part of the Ottomans. Little has been done in terms of excavations in Bodrum as each new city was built atop the remains of its predecessor. The theatre, built during the time of Mausolus, is an exception. Sited on a hill above the present town, it was uncovered while a road was being constructed and has been restored.
Important displays in the Bodrum Underwater Museum