St Peter’s Castle stands guard over the harbour entrance, as the beautiful yachts and Gulets cruise quietly by drenched in sunlight by day, fabulously illuminated by night. The castle is without doubt the focal point of Bodrum.
The striking crusader castle of St.Peter, the Petronian with its well-preserved wall ad towers, dominates the town; it is one of the great showpieces of Medieval Archetecture.
The castle has four towers, the English, the French, the Italian and the German tower, plus a dungeon, the doorway inscribed with the foreboding words ‘Inde Dues Abest’.
It was built between 1402 and 1437 by the Knights Hospitallers of St.John of Jerusalem, based on Rhodes. The castle houses the award-winning Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The museum holds some real treasures. The Glass Ship wreck Hall holds a wreck that was found 33 metres down off Yassi Ada ( near Marmaris ) in 1973.
The oldest found, the wreck dates to 1025 and was a vessel carrying 25 tons of commercial glass between Byzantine and Fatimid ports.
Many of these artefacts actually survived in one piece all those years underwater. There are also exhibits of amphorae and a 7th century eastern Roman shipwreck on display. Undoubtedly the most awe – inspiring exhibits is the resting – place of Princess Ada. Her remains and sarcophagus were found in 1989 on a hill above Bodrum during construction work.
She was the sister of King Mausolos and the wife of Idreus. She died around 360 – 325 BC at the age of 40 and was buried along with her gold jewellery and wreath of myrtle leaves, all of which are on display. Her skull was sent to Manchester University for facial reconstruction, so now on entering the exhibition it is the fine lady herself who greets you !
Under Carian law woman enjoyed great authority as wives of their brothers and when King Mausolos ( who reigned 376 – 353 BC ) died, his sister-wife Artemisia II succeeded him. It was she who commissioned the construction of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in his honour.
Its architect was Pytheos and it was decorated with friezes made by the most celebrated Greek sculptors. The colossal white marble and green stone tombs stood 46 meters high and was surely a sight to behold. The friezes depicted battle scenes of Alexander’s successful campaign against the Persians.
Erected in 351 BC the Mausoleum survived in good condition until 12th century, when it was damaged by earthquake and was totally destroyed in 1552 when Rhodium knights took down the long standing walls of the Mausoleum to reinforce the Castle against Ottoman attack. Indeed, the green stones of the Mausoleum can be seen throughout the castle today.
BODRUM CASTLE : Everyday : 09:00 – 12:00 | 14:00 – 19:00 | Mondays Close
ADDRESS : Iskele Meydani.
PHONE : + 90 252 316 25 16
BODRUM CASTLE ENTRANCE FEE : 20 TL / Per Person