Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Get to know the Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology and the historical places on the Bodrum peninsula.

Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology:

Location: Bodrum, Mugla Province, Turkey

Bodrum Castle, also known as St. Peter’s Castle or the Castle of St. Peter, is a prominent historical site situated on the southern coast of Turkey in the picturesque town of Bodrum. The castle was constructed by the Knights Hospitaller (or Knights of St. John) in the early 15th century, and it now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, one of the most important institutions of its kind in the world.

Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

History of Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle was built between 1402 and 1437 by the Knights Hospitaller as a stronghold against the growing Ottoman Empire. The castle was designed by German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt and was constructed using materials from the nearby ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Over the centuries, the castle has served various purposes, including a prison, a military base, and even a sponge storage facility. It was later restored and converted into a museum in the 1960s.

Museum of Underwater Archaeology

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology, founded in 1961, is housed within the walls of Bodrum Castle. It is dedicated to the research, preservation, and display of artifacts recovered from underwater excavations and shipwrecks, as well as promoting awareness of Turkey’s rich maritime history. The museum holds an extensive collection of relics that date back to the Bronze Age, showcasing various civilizations that thrived in the region throughout history, such as the Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, and Ancient Greeks.

Exhibits and Collections

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology features several permanent exhibits and collections that attract visitors from around the world:

  1. The Uluburun Shipwreck: This Bronze Age shipwreck was discovered off the coast of Turkey in 1982 and dates back to the 14th century BC. The Uluburun Shipwreck exhibit displays a wide range of artifacts, including copper and tin ingots, jewelry, tools, weapons, and pottery. The ship’s reconstruction gives visitors a unique insight into ancient maritime trade and technology.
  2. The Glass Wreck Hall: This exhibit showcases artifacts from the Late Roman Period, focusing on a shipwreck found off the coast of Serçe Limani. The ship carried a large cargo of glass artifacts, including bowls, plates, and cups. The well-preserved items provide valuable information about glass production and trade during the Roman era.
  3. The Carian Princess Hall: This exhibit displays the tomb and artifacts of a Carian princess from the 4th century BC. The collection includes intricate jewelry, cosmetic containers, and other personal items that provide a fascinating glimpse into the life of an ancient noblewoman.
  4. The Amphora Collection: This exhibit contains an extensive collection of amphorae, the ancient Mediterranean’s most common storage vessels for transporting goods such as wine, oil, and grain. The amphorae on display come from various periods and regions, showcasing the evolution of this essential artifact over time.

Visiting Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

The castle and museum are open to visitors throughout the year, with extended hours during the peak tourist season. Guided tours are available, offering in-depth information about the history of the castle and the various exhibits within the museum. Visitors can also explore the castle’s grounds and enjoy panoramic views of Bodrum Harbor and the surrounding Aegean coastline.

In summary, Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology together form a must-see attraction for those interested in history, archaeology, and maritime heritage. The site offers a unique opportunity to delve into the ancient civilizations that thrived in the region, as well as to appreciate the impressive architecture and engineering of the castle itself.

Other nearby attractions:

While visiting Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, it’s worth exploring other nearby attractions to make the most of your trip to Bodrum. Some of these include:

  1. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Although only ruins remain today, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built in the 4th century BC as a tomb for Mausolus, a Persian satrap, it was an architectural marvel of its time. The site is located just a short distance from Bodrum Castle and is worth visiting to learn about its history and significance.
  2. The Bodrum Antique Theatre: Constructed during the Hellenistic period and later expanded by the Romans, this ancient theatre could seat up to 13,000 spectators. Located on the slopes of the city, it offers stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding area. The theatre still hosts events and performances during the summer months, providing a unique experience for visitors.
  3. Bodrum Maritime Museum: Another excellent destination for those interested in maritime history, this museum focuses on the region’s seafaring past. Exhibits include traditional boats, navigational tools, fishing equipment, and various artifacts related to Bodrum’s maritime heritage.
  4. Myndos Gate: This historical gate, located near the western side of Bodrum, was once part of the ancient city walls that protected the city of Halicarnassus. The remains of the gate and the adjacent city walls provide a glimpse into the defensive structures of the ancient city.
  5. The Zeki Muren Arts Museum: Dedicated to the life and work of Zeki Muren, a famous Turkish singer, composer, and actor, this museum is housed in his former residence. The museum showcases his personal belongings, stage costumes, and various memorabilia, offering a fascinating insight into the life of this Turkish icon.

Visiting Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, as well as exploring the surrounding attractions, provides an unforgettable experience for history enthusiasts, archaeology aficionados, and casual tourists alike. This unique combination of sites offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Bodrum and the ancient civilizations that once thrived along the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Bodrum Best Beaches

Dentist in Gumbet

💬 Need help?