Homer's description of Bodrum as "The land of eternal blue" and the words of another resident of Bodrum, Cevat Şakir, who said "The heavenly bliss of life in Bodrum is better than any eternal bliss that may await us" were not without foundation in reality. Throughout history Bodrum, known as Halicarnassos in ancient times, has always been fought over and people have been unwilling to share its beauty with others.
Bodrum is located at the soutwest tip of Turkey is built on a peninsula formed by the meeting of the eastern and western harbors, Bodrum, with its narrow streets winding down to the sea, is famous for its castle, its world-renowned yachts, its shipyards and the dazzling white houses and tombs lining the shores of its two harbors.
Bodrum, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, was the birthplace of Heredotus, the famous historian and known as the father of history in 484 B.C. and according to him Bodrum was founded by the Dorians in the 12th century B.C. The next settlers were Carian and Lelegians.In 546 B.C., the region came under Persian rule. In the beginning of the 4th century B.C., Caria region was ruled by the Satrap Hekatomnos and his son Mausolos.Its most brilliant period was around 353 B.C., when Halikarnassos was the capital of the satrap of Caria. After the death of King Mausolos, Caria was ruled by his wife and sister Artemisia II. and the Mausoleum, the monumental tomb, was built by Artemisia II in honour of her husband and brother King Mausolos. This monument became one of the seven wonders of ancient world, and was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century.
In 192 B.C., Halikarnassos ruled by Roman Empire but did not develop very much. In 395 A.D., Halikarnassos came under Byzantine rule. In XIth century, city was conquered by Turcs but during the first crusade changed hands several times. The Knight of Rhodes captured Halikarnassos in 1402 and the city was called Petronium. Knights of Rhodes was built the castle between two harbours. It was reinforced with Italien, English, German, Spanish and French towers.
Bodrum was taken by the Turks in 1523.
Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of Rhodes in honour of St.Peter between 1415-1437. The stones and marbles of the Mausoleum, which is one of the seven wonders of ancient world and destroyed by an earthquake in 14th century, were used for the construction of the castle. There are five main towers, reflecting the architectural styles of the nations by whom they were constructed, called English Tower, French Tower, Spanish Tower, Italien Tower and German Tower. The Knights built the walls facing the sea thin, and fortified the walls facing the land, as they had expected attacks from the land.
Bodrum was taken by the Turks in 1523. After 1895, the castle was used as a prison. It was converted into a museum, in which, especially the findings of underwater archeology, Mycenean, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantium artifacts are displayed in different sections in chronological order since 1960.
In the Gothic chapel in the courtyard, findings from the Bronze Age are exhibited, dating back 3000 - 2000 years, discovered in this region of objects and weapons from the Mycenaen time found by excavation in the necropolis near Bodrum - Ortakent. In the section to the right of the chapel are exhibited in their original position the environs of the Gelidonya Wreck, which had loaded copper ignots, dating back to 1200 B.C. and which was discovered by underwater excavations off-shore the Cape Gelidonya, under direction of Prof.Dr. George Bass in 1960.
In the south of the chapel, adjoining the castle wall a Turkish Bath an old building where the bathing tradition is shown in details.
A narrow street to the left of the chapel leads to the Amphora Park. From here one comes to the Hall of the Glass wreck, where the Wreck of Serçe Harbour and environs are displayed, in the vis-a-vis Glass Hall and glass works between the XIVth century A.D. and the whole glass collection of the Wreck of Serçe Harbour are exhibited.
In the upper section of the Castle the towers are placed. In the Italien Tower, the ground floor is The Coins and jewellery Hall beginning from the 7th century B.C., until the Roman and Ottoman periods are displayed. In the middle floor of the tower is The Hall of Classical Period. Various ceramic and bronze objects and statues dating back to the 5th century are exhibited here. Baltali Tower is situated at the highest point of the castle, houses the Carian Princess Hall and one of the most interesting place of the Museum. In 1989 a sarcophagus was found entering Bodrum. From the jewellery of the skeleton found in sarcophage, it was identified as Princess Ada, who was also the adoptive mother of Alexander the Great. The University of Manchester plastered the scaleton of Princess to her state while living and she is now exhibited in a niche in the hall.
Mausoleum constructed as a funereal monument by Artemisia, queen of Caria after the death of her brother & husband Mausolos, the Satrap of Caria 352 B.C., the architect was Pytheos. The four facades were decorated with relief friezes executed by (the eastern facade) Scopas , (the northern facade) Byraix , (the southern facade) Timotheos , and (the western facade) Leochares. The monument is raised on a high podium. The 21 stepped roof is supported by 36 ionic columns. Statues of Mausolos and Artemisia, riding a chariot drawn by four horses from the crest of the monument are now to be found in the British Museum. The ground measurements of the monument are 60X80 m. and it was originally 46 m. in height. It remained intact until the 12 century A.D., was partially destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century, and demolished Knights of Rhodes. The friezes were removed to the British Museum in 1856.
Situated in the hillside over looking Bodrum. This theatre whose capacity is around 13.000 was built during Carians' reign in Hellenistic age (330-30 B.C.) The theatre consists of three different sections: a place for audience, a place for an orchestre and the stage. It became an open-air museum after the excavations made in 1973.
Picturesque beautiful villages and sandy beaches which can be easily reached by minibus leaving from bus station.
Gümbet : Nearest beach to Bodrum and just 3 km. away. It is now a self contained resort with hotels, shops, bars, discos, banks and everything the tourist needs for 24 hours of non stop fun. Gümbet is also one of the most popular water sports centers
Bitez : Just 7 km. west of Bodrum. The winds are favorable for windsurfing. The beach is sandy here. There is a Turkish Delight factory here.
Ortakent : Next bay to Bitez and just 13 km from Bodrum. In the early spring the village hosts an annual camel wrestling festival. There is very long sandy beach.
Kargi and Bagla : Kargi, known as Camel Beach, and Bagla is 16 km from Bodrum and there is nice beach here.
Akyarlar and Karaincir : 22 km from Bodrum and closest points to Cos (Greek Island) Winds here are ideal for windsurfing. This is one of the safest beaches for children on the peninsula. There is a tiny harbour.
Turgutreis : 18 km from Bodrum and named after the famous Ottoman admiral Turgut Reis. It is a small town in its own right and combines a compact town center with several beaches and all amenties for tourists. An ideal surfing place.
Kadikalesi : 4 km next to Turgutreis and offers some of holiday resorts.
Gümüslük : 24 km from Bodrum and protected from modern development due to Myndos, an ancient site. The simple charm of the village has survived the influx of tourism. Rabbits are raised on the island at the end of the causeway a short paddle away. There are many seaside fish restaurants. A tranquil village.
Yalikavak : 18 km from Bodrum, small but developed town and offers everything required. There are many seaside cafes, restaurants and hotels. An old olive press is converted into a showroom for kilims, carpets and jewellery.
Gündogan : Only a few minutes from Yalikavak and there are signs of antiquity in the hinterland. A couple of large hotels have been developed here in recent years.
Göl-Türkbükü : These villages, 18 km from Bodrum, are very close to each others and favorite places of many well-known Turkish artists and actors.