Arguably a well-known and sought out peninsula landmark of Aegean Turkey, Bodrum Castle and Museum is a striking sight with an impressive structure and architecture that lures many tourists each year. Never failing to take your breath away, the 15th century Knights castle built by the knights of Rhodes during the Middle Ages Crusades served over the years as a military base, prison, and even public baths. Hence stories and tales are rich in history, heritage, and culture.
Originally called Saint Peter's Castle, majestic architecture features the Italian, German, French and English towers resembling nations that helped build her. Knights also took tower stones from the nearby Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, during construction. Designed for sanctuary during the 15th century Knight crusades for Asia Minor's Christians, Saint Peter / Bodrum castle and towers also helped the army successfully fend off Sultan Mehmed II's Ottoman Sea army and was later used by Sultan's son to hide during an attempted revolt.
A 16th-century war saw the Knight's castle fall and handed to Ottoman soldiers attacking from the port of Marmaris Bay. Today, the castle site is a museum, the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, after Turkey's government converted the structure in 1962, making it one of Aegean Turkey's top tourist attractions for history buffs from all over Europe and beyond.
Touring Bodrum Castle Today
In 2017, Bodrum Castle and Underwater Archaeology Museum closed for extensive renovations. When it reopened in 2020, a new exhibition, the Carian Princess Tomb, revealed Bronze Age relics discovered during archaeology excavations in 1989. Inside newly renovated spaces, historical artefacts and monuments from ancient empires sit on display, including the world's oldest shipwreck and Ada mummy.
Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum features many tall walls, places, tunnels, and narrow and twisty corridors to confuse intruders. Over many years, plenty of tourists enjoyed touring exhibitions; and for adventurers, this challenge ensures a great introduction to Bodrum. If wandering around isn't your thing, ancient coins, decadent jewellery, elegantly designed pottery, and pieces of ancient shipwrecks and famous artefacts receive admiration from all who see them.
Also, enjoy Ottoman themed gardens, surrounded by Mediterranean trees. Lastly, climb to the top; for the stunning town, marina, and coastline views; an absolute joy for keen photographers. Entry tickets are relatively cheap. With an intriguing history, cultural significance, and striking views, Bodrum Castle more than deserves its title as one of Aegean Turkey's best landmarks.
Artefacts in Bodrum Castle from Featured Shipwrecks
- 12th century BC Finike-Gelidonya, Turkey's first underwater excavation in 1959
- 7th-century Yassiada shipwreck, 900 amphoras were discovered
- 4th-century Yassiada shipwreck
- 16th-century Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck
- 16th-century Ṣeytan Deresi ship
- 11th-century Marmaris-Serce harbour shipwreck with discovered Islamic glassware
- 3rd century BC Marmaris-Serce harbour shipwreck
The Uluburun display of Bodrum Castle, the most famous shipwreck exhibitions dates from the 14th century BC. Discovered in 1982, eleven dives took place to recover the ship's cargo, labelled as the best Bronze Age collection. The person who found the wreck, a sponge diver had previously received training to spot shipwrecks while carrying out his work. Artefacts uncovered include copper and tin ingots, Canaanite jars and Pistacia resin, Glass ingots, Egyptian jewellery, ivory, hippopotamus teeth, tortoise shells, ostrich eggs, pottery, daggers and swords, and oil lamps.
Also, About Bodrum
More Things to Do: For decades, Bodrum city has embraced creative artisans, eager to avoid conformity. Tourists still find age-old traditions and Turkish culture on cobbled streets of small, traditional villages throughout Bodrum peninsula. Still, we recommend looking beyond this to discover what makes the region tick. Following the footsteps of famous residents and visiting certain places promising indulgence of the highest form reveals pleasure-seeking vibes that put Bodrum in many Turks' hearts.
Best Beaches in Bodrum: Although touring Bodrum castle is great fun, take time to enjoy the other strong attribute that the peninsula offers; gorgeous beaches. This article talks about the best stretches of sand and what to expect when you arrive to enjoy sun rays and clear waters of Aegean Turkey.