Approaching the city, the visitor is overwhelmed by the dominant appearance of the acropolis. The steep slopes on all sides provide natural protection and the top is supported by city walls in places. The walls and the rock tombs on the north-eastern slope of the acropolis are good examples of the Lycian cult. The city walls on the east and south-east, on the other hand, are from the Roman period and during the Byzantine times were repaired with reused material, including parts of some sarcophagi. The topmost group of buildings constructed with various available stones belong to a chief who was appointed to the region by the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. All these ruins are quite significant, enabling the exhibition of various cultural phases the acropolis hill went through. On the eastern slope of the acropolis, the city walls are one of the best samples of Roman masonry. Supported by these and parallel to the walls, there is a stadium where 12 rows of seating arrangement are still standing. The group of buildings opposite the stadium are from the Roman period and are assumed to be the agora. The ruins to the south of this are from the gymnasium, palestra and the bath. At the eastern end, there is a Roman theatre built on vaulted galleries, with a single diazoma. The stage-building is still standing up to the third floor on the north. The blocks with Lycian inscriptions on the northern parados must have been reused later in reconstruction and repairs.
The Fortress of Bodrum is built on a rock formation between two harbours. The peninsula was an island in the antique period.
The fortress was built in 1409-1521 by the Knights of St. Jean. It is square and 180x 185 meters in dimension. Within the fortress there are towers bearing the names of different countries. The highest one is 47.5 m. above the sea level, called the French Tower. The others are known as the Italian, German, Spanish and British Towers. With the exception of the eastern section, the fortress is fortified with two rows of main outer walls. Seven gates lead to the inner enclosure. There are coats of arms above the gates with crosses, straight or horizontal bands, and figures of dragons and lions. Within the fortress there are 14 water cisterns, located also under the chapel. The blockhouse, the trench between the main outer walls, the suspension bridge, the control tower, and the seal of Mahmoud II are noteworthy.
The Fortress of Bodrum was used as a prison in the latter part of the 19th century when a bath was added in the Ottoman style. Today it is the Underwater Archaeological Museum. Among items exhibited, there are Turkish baths, amphoras, a vessel of Eastern Rome, the glassware, the shipwreck, coins, jewellery, the Hall of the Carian Princess, the British Tower, the chambers of torture and massacre, and the German Tower. In addition, open-air exhibitions are held in the courtyard of the fortress, constructed on about 85 acres of land.
The Underwater Archaeological Museum of Bodrum was granted a "Special Merit" award in 1995 in the European Museum of the Year competition.
The method of exhibition is representative of the concept of a contemporary museum.
THE SHIPWRECK OF THE SERÇE HARBOUR
In the summer months of 1977-1979, the
institute of Naval Archaeological Museum of Bodrum, performed excavations on a
medieval shipwreck at the Serçe harbour, a natural bay on the southern shores of
In addition, the amphoras from underwater excavations by INA are exhibited at the Museum. These excavations include the shipwreck in 1200 B.C. at the Gelidonya Cape, the one during the 4th and 7th centuries A.D. at Yassıada, another in the 11th century at Serçe Harbour, the Hellenistic shipwreck in the third century B.C., and the one of the fourteenth century B.C. shipwreck at Kaş.
The commercial amphoras at the Underwater
Archaeological Museum of Bodrum are the world's greatest collection. Only ten
per cent of amphoras from various origins are exhibited at the portico in the
lower courtyard. Starting with the earliest amphora (1400 B.C.) in the
collection up to a pitcher manufactured in 1992, the exhibition includes
paintings demonstrating how and by what means they were transported and how they
were stored . At the last stand of the exhibit, a Roman wine cellar (2nd century
A.D.) is represented, complete with the ground mosaics and a well. From time to
time, servants, dressed in Roman attire, offer wine to visitors and sell
imitation amphoras as mementos.
THE CARIAN PRINCESS
In the Andron, the Carian Princess meets the guests, dressed in a floating garb with gold ornaments. Her lady-in-waiting serves wine with the trefoil-mouthed jar. Incense is burned at the head of the tomb, and the prophetic eels with golden earrings, which were considered sacred at the time, revive the long-forgotten tradition.
In Anatolia, hundreds of tombs are discovered in numerous excavations every year. The objects recovered in these operations are evaluated in very limited number of museums. The Underwater Archaeological Museum of Bodrum is the first one in the world, offering the visitors an opportunity to go through the tunnel of time, at the Hall of the Carian Princess, to go back 2400 years, reviving the past with all the relevant sensations.
THE EASTERN ROMAN VESSEL OF THE 7TH CENTURY A.D.
The vessel and her load remained hidden under water until it was discovered by Captain Kemal ARAS, a sponge fisher, in 1958. In the years 1961-1967, a Turkish-American expert team, headed by Prof. Dr. George Bass from the University of Pennsylvania, started excavations. Mr. T. Oğuz ALPÖZEN, the present Director of the Underwater Archaeological Museum, was a member of the team. The objects discovered were preserved at the Fortress of Bodrum for over 30 years.
The stern of the ship was rebuilt at a scale of 1/1 by the Underwater Archaeological Museum of Bodrum and INA experts. For the first time in the world, the model and the shipwreck are being exhibited together.
One of the most famous cities of the antique times, Halicarnassos dates back to the 11th century B.C. Although it was built by Dorian colonists, Halicarnassos had the appearance of an Ionian city, especially in the first half of the 5th century B.C. At the time, the city, ruled by Queen Artemisia, was in alliance with the Persians. During the Naval Battle at Salamis, Artemisia inadvertently sank one of her own ships, and the Persian King, unaware of the error, praised her.
In the 5th century B.C., the Presian satrap, Mausolos, declared Halicarnassos the capital of the Carian region and forced the population to live in three cities, namely Halicarnassos, Myndos and Theangela.
Mausolos died in 353 B.C. and was succeeded by his wife and sister, Artemisia, who perpetuated the Mausoleum in her husband's memory, which is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. At Artemisia's death in 351, her brother Idriaus and later, in 334 B.C. his sister and wife Ada became rulers. Her youngest brother Pixodarus banished Ada to Alinda and became the satrap. When Alexander conquered the city in 334, he recalled Ada and made her the ruler of the whole country.
The city enjoyed her independence until 129 B.C., and then became part of the Asian province of the Romans. In the 19th century, it was ruled by Turks for a short while and then was given over to the Knights of St. Jean in 1402.
Bodrum was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1523 during the Rhodian Campaign of Suleiman the Magnificient.
THE THEATRE OF HALICARNASSOS
The theatre on the southern slope of Göktepe, north of the Halicarnassos antique city, is a splendid construction from the 4th century B.C., used as a necropolis for some time. It has the characteristics of all theatres built in the pre Roman period.
The theatre may be studied in 3 portions.
The seating rows are carved into the rocks in
a horseshoe shape and are covered with marble. The rows are divided into two by
a horizontal passage way. The lower part is intact. The upper part is demolished
by human hands and due to natural causes. The rows are further divided
It is located in the centre and is built
wider than a semicircle, in line with the rows of seats. It was occupied by the
chorus who sang and abided to a certain choreography in support of the plays
performed during the antique ages. The altar in the centre, in front of the
seats, was for Dionysos, a newly recruited deity in Anatolia. In late Roman
period, such theatres were used for gladiator and wild animal fights. This is
evidenced by the ruins of parapets separating the audience from the fighters.
It is located in the south of the theatre. Rectangular in shape, it is built to overshadow the open portion of the horse shaped seating arrangement. It was built in two stories and had a frontal stage podium facing the orchestra. On the wall at the back there are nooks where the portable scenery panels of the plays were hung. The gates of the stage-building were for the players and the protocol. The paradoxes i.e. the entrances between the stage-building and the seats were for the audience. The excavation and the restoration work is undertaken by the Bosav Foundation.
The Mausoleum, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, is located in the Bodrum village, namely the antique Halicarnassos city. The construction was started in 350 B.C. by Mausolos, the Carian satrap under the Persian rule, and was completed by his sister and wife, Artemisa, after his death. It is built on a terrace of 105 x 242 meters. The antique writers record that the architect of the mausoleum was Pytheos. The reliefs decorating this monumental building were undertaken by Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas and Timotheos, all famous sculptures of the period. The foundations were laid in a 5-meter deep hole carved into the main rock.
The antique sources relate that the monument, approximately 50 meters in height with the stepped-up roof on top, was surrounded by 36 columns (9x11) on four sides. The roof had 24 steps and on the uppermost part there were statues of Mausolos and Artemisia in a carriage drawn by 4 horses. On the lowest step of the roof there were statues of lions protecting the building. Statues were placed between the columns, and on the pedestal the famous fresco of Apollon was erected. The whole monument was built with green stone blocks and the outer façade was lined with white marble and bluish limestone.
The Mausoleum withstood human and natural destruction for a long time but collapsed during the earthquake which shook Western Anatolia in 1304 A.D.
The works of art discovered by Lord Stratford in 1846 and during the excavations by Newton in the years 1857-1862, as well as the ornaments decorating the walls of the fortress built by the Knights of St. Jean, were all taken by Newton to the British Museum in England in the 19th century. Two original pieces of the fresco are exhibited in the museum building near the Mausoleum.
During the years 1966-1972, a Danish excavation team presided by Prof. Dr. Kristian Jeppesen, carried out their work in this area, providing us with the invaluable archaeological data we now have on hand. Again with the scientific and financial contributions of Prof. Dr. Kristian Jeppesen, a small museum was built here which was opened for public in 1982.
In the covered section of this museum, the detailed information in connection with the historical development of the Mausoleum, as well as the phases of archaeological research and discoveries, are exhibited. In the half-covered section, there are plaster copies of the frescos presently exhibited at the British Museum. Furthermore, in this section, some architectural data are exhibited in the light of discoveries.
Plans are made for the future revision and re-organization of this museum building. By virtue of this work, all the original works of art now at the British Museum will be copied on a 1/1 scale and exhibited in the museum.
This was a religious centre. It is famous for the Temple of Apollon and for its oracles. The Lelegian settlement on the hill behind the Gürece Village may be the antique Telmissos. There is a tower on the top with tombs around.
The ancient writers describe Termera as being
opposite the Island of Cos. There is an inner fortress in the settlement, also
known by the name Asarlık Hill. The population was removed to Halicarnassos by
In this Lelegian settlement, the inner fortress is surrounded by city walls with towers. Public buildings, market place, the offices of the city council and the Temple of Heroon are monumental and built in strong masonry.
The Lelegian city Myndos was first set up the
hilltop of Bozdağ. The second Myndos was founded by Mausolos along the shore,
covering a large area. The city is surrounded by walls and has a well protected
harbour. There are ruins of a Byzantine church, the wave breakers submerged into
the sea and a tower. In 44 B.C. the assassinators of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius
made use of Myndos as their headquarters.
It is a Lelegian city surrounded by city walls. The population was forced to settle here during the reign of Mausolos. At that time the city was reconstructed on a rectangular Greek plan.
It is a Lelegian settlement on a hilltop above Türkbükü and Gölköy, surrounded by city walls.
The city walls on the outside and the two
towers are still standing.