Visiting the foundations of the Ottoman Empire

Turkey is an absolute paradise for history buffs and more specifically Bodrum is perfect for a holiday if you are into all things related to the past. This is where the foundations of an epic civilisation can be viewed – those of the Ottoman Empire. Read on to find out more about the sites you could visit and start planning your trip.

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Bodrum Castle

Otherwise known as the Castle of St Peter, Bodrum Castle has a number of features that will be of interest to those who enjoy history. Not only does it have well-preserved ramparts, offering an unimpeded view of the surrounding hills and bays, but also an open air theatre and Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

This latter attraction does what it says on the tin and is full of artefacts pertaining to ancient shipwrecks found on the seabed. Expect to see amphora, glass, bronze, clay and iron objects, all of which have been retrieved from the Aegean Sea.

A number of other exhibitions can be found within the castle, but these are all much smaller, although no less interesting. Coins, jewellery and the tomb of a Carian princess are among the notable pieces on display.

The castle itself was built by the Knights Hospitaller on the spot where it was thought King Mausalus’ Palace once stood. Significantly important for the fortification were 14 cisterns dug out of the rocks to collect water.

Each subgroup of the order had its own tower, which was completed in a style that reflected them, and a corresponding portion of the fortress to defend. Originally there were seven routes into the castle and each needed to be protected against invaders.

On the outside walls hundreds of coats of arms pertaining to many different trades, families and countries were placed. These days 249 have survived the ravages of time. All of these elements combine to make a unique and truly varied daytrip.

Myndus Gate

The walled city of Halicarnassus was once an important seaport and within it were several fascinating sites. There were two entrances into the metropolis, one of which was the Myndus Gate. Only a few remains of the original structure can be seen today, but it has been partially reconstructed.

From here you are presented with good views, both of the ancient city itself and surrounding hills and the sea. It is a great spot from which to let your imagination take hold and transport you back through the centuries.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Ever wondered where the term mausoleum came from? It originated in a spot in Bodrum where King Mausolus was laid to rest. His tomb was so grand that his name was used to refer to all such burial sites.

Despite reports that this original mausoleum stretched an impressive 45 metres into the air, there are just a few stones and columns left of it in situ today. This may be down to the fact that many of the stones were pilfered and reused in the building of Bodrum Castle.

Bodrum Amphitheatre

A visit to Bodrum Amphitheatre is interesting not just to look at the significance of this historic monument, but also to achieve elevation to enjoy the views of the bay, harbour and castle beyond. The amphitheatre truly spanned history in its creation, as it was begun during the Mausolus era and completed in Roman times