The Mausoleum, Bodrum Castle & Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Bodrum's acclaimed landmark. Throughout six centuries the building has been destroyed and rebuilt, and served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a tiny village, and even as a fortress prison. Today it houses one of the finest museums of nautical archaeology in the world, and for visitors is a fascinating trip through the past into the worlds of ancient mariners shipwrecked on Anatolian shores or to the medieval Age of Knights who built this castle from stones that once were part of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Known as one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World, the Mauseloum was built by Artemisia, the sister and the wife of King Mausolos, B.C. 355. Destroyed later either in war or an earthquake, the ruins were then used in building of the Halikarnassus Castle, ruled by the Christian crusaders from the Knights Hospitaller. The building has a rich, complex history; there are layers of previous Carian, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk construction, and a distinct aura of its former Crusader occupants: the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

Later traces of Shakespeare, the royal arms of France, and German architectural handiwork linger on, while its role as a prison for freedom fighters stays quiet in the shadows.

The castle officially became a museum in 1961. The first exhibition included amphorae brought by Bodrum sponge divers as well as items recovered during the exploratory dives during the ’50s. Today the museum sets out (and accomplishes) being a “living museum,” attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, and earning international recognition in the form of the Museum of the Year Award.

The museum explains the history behind the mausoleum and includes several galleries and old documents with explanations in English and Turkish. There are also some pleasant and shady gardens at the Bodrum museum, where you can relax in the fragrance of flowers and the gentle Aegean breeze.

Note: All sections of the museum are closed on Mondays.

Bodrum Castle & Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaelogy

(For admission to the museum in its entirety)

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 10 YTL (about $7 USD/CAD)

Carian Princess Hall

An extraordinary display of artifacts from the Hecatomnid dynasty (ca.392 B.C.): a burial chamber, sarcophagus, funereal wine decanter, and a well-preserved interred female skeleton covered in gold. 

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 5 YTL

Glass Wreck Hall

An excavated Medieval shipwreck at Serce Limani, a natural harbour on the southern Turkish Coast, which yielded what is presently the most closely-dated single assemblage of Islamic ceramic, metal and glass wares in existence. Also known as the Uluburun Ship Wreck, it is one of the earliest and richest wrecks yet discovered, with excavated items date back to the Bronze Age. 

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 5 TRY

Mausoleum (of Halicarnassus)

Just a short walk uphill from the marina, you can see the foundations of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. 

Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm

Admission: 8YTL

Myndos Gate and Ottoman Tour (Free) 

Also included in the museum are the considerable Amphoras Exhibition and the Galley Slave Exhibit, the Dungeon from when the Castle was used as a prison. 

Museum Website for more more detailed information regarding the museum's history and many exhibits. 

Address: Bodrum Castle, Dr. Alim Bey Cd, Bodrum 48400, Turkey

Bonus!

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