What drew us to Bodrum’s snazzy busy tourist scene? Somebody liked it. So we went in on the twisty windy two-laner. As in Cesme, we didn’t book but just arrived.

0514 Bodrum flowers

Wandered around, spotted Sade Pension, a deal at 80 liras with breakfast, a bit on the spartan side, but super-friendly people. Decided to stay two nights.

0515 Sade

The place was in a no-vehicle area. (Which by the way doesn’t even slow down the motorcyclists.)

Bodrum’s big draw is St Peter’s Castle, sprawling across the waterfront.

0520 castle plan 0533 harbour

While looking out to sea …

0534 harbour

Some wonderful statuary …

0527 happy head

0532 smilin winged

Vessels and such dredged up from the sea.

0521 vessels 0522 vessel 0524 grinder 0525 vessel

Turns out this was formerly the city named Halicarnassis. The Museum of Underwater Archaeology (onsite) hints at a flourishing economy in ancient times.

There’s a recreated bedroom of I think an upper-crusty Roman lady. No pictures.

The Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes apparently fashioned the castle out of the ancient ruins. It was completed in 1437.

0517 castle door

0538 turret0519 doorway

Among curious displays about many animals:

0536 snake    0537 snake insc








Suleyman conquered Rhodes in 1522 and took over the castle …

0518 inscription

On our way out we fell in with a group of six or seven high-school students, uniformed girls and boys, who asked us what seemed like prepared questions about our Turkish experience. Had our pictures taken with various groupings … charming … forgot to use our camera.

It was my birthday so we went to dinner at La Pasión, a Spanish restaurant we pulled out of Lonely Planet Turkey (the Top Choice of Bodrum). We and the two other couples there all had paella. Lovely enclosed outdoor place, serious service, delicious food, good prawn count. Spent about $60, including 8 euros for ice cream in a raspberry soup. Waiters all in jeans and black shirts. The cook came out all in black and took a bow. It all seemed Vrai Español. As we left, a party of four was celebrating a birthday. Delightful.

One thought on “Bodrum

  1. King Mausolus, Persian satrap of Caria (377-353 BCE), thought he was a big deal. So did his wife (who was also his sister) Artemisia.

    After the king’s death, Artemisia commissioned the kingdom’s most prominent architects and sculptors to design and build a funerary monument to her husband-brother that would eclipse all others. And so it did.

    So grand was the Mausoleum that it was numbered among the Seven Wonders of the World, and lent its name to any and every grand funerary monument built anywhere in the world during the two millennia following its construction.

    Several centuries later, the fashion for mausolea caught on with the Romans, who built them along roads and at places like Hierapolis (Pamukkale), where you can see them still.

    There’s not much left of the original Mausoleum.

    In the early 1400s, the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes enlarged and strengthened their Castle of St Peter. In need of cheap, ready building materials, they spied the Mausoleum close by, admired it for a time, then broke it to pieces and used the pieces in the castle’s rubble walls, or crushed the marble into lime for mortar.

    By papal decree of 1409, those who worked on the castle were guaranteed a place in heaven (though not, perhaps, in the hearts of historic preservationists).
    Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Bodrum, Turkey

    In the early 1500s, what was left of the decorative stone from the Mausoleum (not much) was used to embellish the castle.

    In 1522, what remained of the stone from the Mausoleum was crushed and burnt to make lime to strengthen the castle for defense against an anticipated attack by the armies of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.

    The sad irony here is that the knights knew they would lose and have to abandon the castle (Süleyman had a b-i-g army), but chivalric honor required them to put up a good fight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *