Bodrum Castle and Underwater Archaeology Museum
Bodrum Castle (Saint Petrum)
Bodrum Castle was built between two ports on a rocky peninsula surrounded by the sea on three sides. You feel the smell of the history in your soul and you would be fascinated with the mysterious air coming from its walls even when you just enter Bodrum Castle. Its magnificent architecture away from classical Castle architecture evokes you admiration while you ascend stairs.
A view of Bodrum Castle – Image Credit: Bodrum Belediyesi
In every section of Bodrum Castle that you visit, you feel different excitements and you look envyingly to rich archaeological artefacts with the sparkle of the jewels and glasses.
Bodrum Castle was built by Knights of Rhodes in 99 years, on A.D. 15th Century in honour of St. Peter. The first point where Halicarnassus was built were Zephyrion Island. During the construction of the Castle, the stones and reliefs of Mausolos Monument were used on the walls. At Ottomans period, it was converted into a mosque by integrating a minaret to the church. Besides, a small Turkish bath was also built. Used as a prison in 1595, the Castle today is rearranged as a museum.
Having an area of approximately 30.000 sqm, the Castle has 5 towers. They called French Tower, English Tower, Italian Tower, German Tower and Serpentine Tower. The sections stayed out of the East wall of the Castle are reinforced as a double bearing wall. The access to the Citadel is by passing from 7 doors. There are blazonries on the doors. Blazonries are consisting of crosses, flat or horizontal bands, dragon and lion figures. In the Citadel there are 14 cisterns including the base of the chapel. The blockhouse of the Castle, the moat inter double bearing walls, the suspension bridge, the control tower, the tughra of Sultan Mahmut II are the prominent places of the Castle.
Today, the Castle is used as Museum of Underwater Archeology. The artefacts that are available in museum collections are exhibited in the Turkish bath, Amphora Park, Eastern Roman ship, Glass Hall, Glass Wreck, Coin and Jewelry Hall, Carian Princess Hall, English Tower, Torture and Massacre Rooms and German Tower.
Footnote: Do not forget to watch the gorgeous view of Bodrum while visiting the Castle… Bodrum is more beautiful when looking from the Castle.
Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum
The Museum is situated in Bodrum Castle and is regarded as one of the world’s most important underwater archaeology museums. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Bodrum. Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum contains 14 exhibition halls and has the richest East Mediterranean Amphora collection in the world. In the Museum, Yassıada, Şeytan Deresi and Serçe Lİmanı shipwrecks are also exhibited. The world’s oldest sunken ship wreckage exhibited in the Museum is also worth to visit. This shipwreck exhibited in Serçe Limanı Glass Wreck Hall is the sinking boat in 1025. 3 tons of broken and unbroken glasses were removed from this boat. Additionally, the world’s largest Islamic Glass Collection is also exhibited here.
Amphora Park is situated under the porch of the main outer walls on the left side when entering to the Citadel. The largest collection of artefacts in Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum is amphora.
The real-size replica of the wreck is displayed in Uluburun Exhibition situated at Late Bronze Age Shipwrecks Hall’s second and third sections. The wreck identified as “the world’s oldest recovered wreck” and found in near Kas-Uluburun is the most important and most exclusive exhibit of Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum.
Late Roman Shipwreck
The beautiful gothic-style structure seen on the right side of the courtyard is the chapel of the knights. This chapel is one of the first completed structures by the starting of the construction of the Castle (1402-1437). It shows Spanish effectiveness on the plans and adornments.
Turkish bath in Bodrum Castle was opened in 1991 after having renovated. There is a small fountain in the courtyard of the bath. Lemon trees around the fountain are the important elements of the traditional bath’s garden.
The sinking ship by crashing into the rocks in a small bay named Serçe Limanı near to Marmaris is known as Glass Wreck due to its findings. The wreck lying on 32 meters depth and was discovered largely non-damaged. In the wake of deselection of glass chunks carried on the ship, the goods of a merchant who were travelling unrestrainedly between Islamic-Byzantine states has revealed. On the one hand while the cullet were placing to the ship for re-melting, on the other hand new production glasses were selling in the ports of call. Numerous findings such as loads related to Early Islamic Period, a sword, pots with strainer and checker stones which the crew were playing are deriving from this wreck. Through the variedness of findings, the wreck is dating to 11th Century, and with a powerful determination around the year of 1025.