March 26, 2013

Bodrum Castle

The weather continued to deteriorate overnight but it was not too bad. There was some howling wind and a few raindrops early and some heavy rain later, but the day worked just fine.

Busses aren’t allowed in the heart of Bodrum. I suspect that it is because many of the streets really aren’t wide enough to accommodate them. So our bus dropped us for a short walk to what used to be one of the 7 wonders of the world: The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Halicarnassus is a place and not a person. Alexander conquered it, too. As John L pointed out this morning, “conquered” doesn’t always mean a battle. Sometimes it just means getting the people to agree that you’re the new boss.

Pieces of the Mausoleum, once a Wonder of the World

The Mausoleum may once have been a wonder of the world, but it would not even get mentioned today, much less honorable mention. That is because, despite the wondrous descriptions of ancient travelers all that is left now is what can kindly be called remains. And those remains give no clue as to the original building. There are fewer pieces (at least visible pieces) than we saw at Ligina or Stratonikeia. But that didn’t really make a difference to us. We followed our usual routine of listening to descriptions and speculation and then we asked questions. Our group is generally well informed and it is interesting to listen to the questions and answers.

From there we took a short walk along the harbor over to the Bodrum Castle (St. Peter’s) of the Knights of St. John. On the way, we met up with Don Frey, a past president of the Institute of Nautical Archeology, who was to be our guide at the Museum of Nautical Archeology in the castle. Don has been diving on shipwrecks in this area since 1969 and hew gave us a great deal of information about two of the wrecks that are showcased in the museum in addition to telling us a lot about amphoras.

Patricia and I have been to the castle and museum before and it is too bad that the group was not able to spend more time there because there is a great deal to see. I mentioned that there wasn’t much left of the Masoleum of Halicarnassus. One of the reasons for that is that some of the material was used to build the castle.

Gold found on early shipwreck

I’ve mentioned that the weather had been deteriorating and it finally began to rain heavily while we were listening to Don. His website, by the way, is We got some good pictures of the things recovered from the wrecks.

Glass found on shipwreck

One of them was a Byzantine ship from a 1,000 years ago and another was from a ship that sank in the 12th century B.C.

The guards at the castle go to lunch around 1 and we had to end our visit then.

Bodrum Harbor

We had the afternoon free so after a very nice lunch at a restaurant on the harbor, we came back to the hotel and enjoyed the afternoon.

There are pictures on the pictures page—no captions yet.

Here is the map of the first part of our day. We were inside and the castle is all stone (duh!) so there isn’t a lot of detail.

View Larger Map

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.