Bodrums oldest antiquity and was built by Artemisia II in honour of her husband King Mausolos. It became one of the wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum still is the general term for a large tomb. The entire structure stood at over 50 meters in height. The first reliefs from the Mausoleum reached the British Museum in London in 1846, these included frescos and other objects. Bodrums first remembered literary character was Cevat Sakir, known as the ‘Halicarnassus Fisherman’ asked for the return of the Mausoleum parts to Bodrum in a letter adressed to the Queen of England, saying that such exquisite works of art were not finding their true place under the foggy and grey sky of London. The letter he received in response stated as following: “Thank you for reminding us of the matter, We have painted the ceiling where the Mausoleum is located in blue.”
The most promnent feature of Bodrum is the castle of St. Peter. The castle’s origins date back to the knights of St. John This group of expatriates began in the 11th century with a church and hospital in Jerusalem. Although belonging to he Catholic religion care was denied to no-one. When the knights arrived they instructed their builders to remove all usable materials from the tomb of King Mausolos as the castle construction began in the 1400’s. The knights refered to the town as Mesy not knowing that they where in the ancient Halicarnassus The fortress became known as the Castle of St. Peter, the Liberator, it served as the sole place of refugee for all Christians on the West Coast of Asia during the time of the crusades. For over a century the castle served as a stronghold in the knights community. Under Turkish care the castle has undergone several uses including being a military base, a prison and a public bath. But now it is one of the finest museums in this region.
The theatre is another witness to the great past of Bodrum. Situated in the hillside over looking Bodrum this theatre whose capacity is around 13.000 was built during te Carian reign in the Hellenistic age (330 – 30 BC.). The theatre consists of three different sections: a place for the audience, a place for an orchestra and the stage. It became an open-air museum after the excavations in 1973.
The Myndos Gate
Located on the west side of Bodrum, this is one of the two entrances of ancient Halicarnassus. It was part of the towns wall. The gate is named after the place Myndos because it faces the ancient Myndos place A big handshake should go first to the companies Ericsson and Turkcell, who sponsored the excavation of Bodrum’s town walls, which are a remarkable example of ancient Western Anatolia architecture. Only some parts of the city walls remained until today. An important part of the town wall was the Myndos Gate where the soldiers of Alexander (*the great*) had a hard time to come into the town of Halicarnassus in 333 BC. After they captured the city they destroyed all buildings except the Mausoleum, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Extensive excavation and restoration has been done by the archeologists to bring this spot from ancient times to be better realized now. It is expected that the whole restoration of the town wall of nearly 4,5 kilometers will take four to five years to complete. According to Arrianus, who describes this gate and and the siege of Alexander the Great in 334, this gate had originally three towers (that’s why it was described as ‘Tripollion’). It was also mentioned that in front of the gate was a ditch of 8 meters depth and 15 meters long. The middle part of the gate is totally destroyed now but ruins from the two other parts still exist and consist of huge and heavy square stones.