Bodrum Castle sits prominently on a headland in the City and there has been some sort of fortification on the site since 1100BC.
The current castle dates back to around 1400AD and it has had a varied history since then with numerous sieges and occupations.
We walked around a lot of it and visited
numerous different galleries. It was hard to make a pictorial record as we did it because there is no straight forward path around the castle – there are
all sorts of objects scattered around the castle such as this altar (perhaps) with a snake emblem
or this Stele of a Gladiator or numerous stone copies of Coats of Arms from all over the the then known world
built into the walls of the castle.
The castle contains the regional shipwreck museum which records details of a number of the ancient wrecks found in the area
and cleverly shows how the ships were originally loaded
how the goods were scattered on the sea bed
or how much of the ship remained when
found and its possible structure.
Elsewhere are examples of glassware found in the wrecks:
Much of the museum is well laid out, but some of it is difficult to appreciate in its display cases.
Our Fifth of the Seven Wonders
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and when we have seen this, we will have seven five of them during our many years of travelling – only Alexandria and Olympia to go (not that we are trying to get a full set).
There is little of the Mausoleum left because in the mid 1700s someone decided to knock it down to use the stone for building a mosque and repairing the castle.
An artists impression shows that it does indeed look very much like the mausoleum we saw yesterday.
On one side of the site is a tomb complex
which is not the tomb but it is interesting to see how it had been cut into the deep stone of the area.
The actual tomb was underneath the much larger structure
and this is the hole where the tomb was and it is thought to have actually laid on the right of this photo. Now as then, water ingress was a problem on site and hence there is a fairly sophisticated underground drainage system in place – these days aided by pumps.
The mausoleum door lies one one side where it was dumped by grave robbers, being too large to move off to reuse elsewhere.
Some Plaster Castes of the original frieze are on display in order to give an impression the artistry in its construction. Parts of the originals from the tomb are in the British Museum in London.
And so ends our trip around South Western Turkey and numerous archaeological sites. We return home much educated and slightly exhausted with only four weeks before we are off again.
And as we walk away, we spy a beautiful tree in a quiet street on a hot early summer’s day.