Bodrum Castle is present in southwest Turkey, in the port city of Bodrum. It is one of the most beautiful and major tourist attractions. This castle is famous for being a historical place, and was established in 14th century by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium.

Bodrum Castle

History of Bodrum Castle

When it comes for any tourist to visit the Bodrum Castle, he/she naturally gets interested about the history of the place.

The castle started being constructed in 1404 under the supervision of the German knight-architect Heinrich Schlegelholt. The guarantee was given to the construction workers that they will get reservations in heaven by a Papal Decree of 1409. With the help of squared green volcanic stone, marble columns and reliefs from the nearby Mausoleum of Maussollos, the fortification of the castle was completed.

Its first few walls were built in 1437. The chapel of this castle is one of the prettiest inner structures, founded in 1406. It consists of a vaulted nave and an apse. It underwent reconstruction in Gothic style by Spanish Knights of Malta in 1519-1520.

Some of the latest and modern features were applied to the castle to give it a remarkable and gorgeous look by the architects. The construction of the three-storied English tower was completed during 1413. One of its doors can open to the north, while the second is leading to the western rampart.

For more than a century, St. Peter’s Castle was regarded as the important and most remarkable castle of the Order. It used to serve as a refuge for Christians in Asia Minor. Sir Thomas Docwra was appointed Captain of the Castle in 1499.

Between 1505 and 1507, the castle was retouched for renovation to give it smashing look. In 1846 Lord Canning, removed twelve marble reliefs showing a combat between Greeks and Amazons from the castle.

Museum of Underwater Archaeology

In 1962, the government of Turkey took the decision of turning the castle into a museum where the underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea could be displayed. This has, today, taken the form of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. It is known for its heavy collection of amphoras, ancient glasses, bronzes, clays, and iron items. This is one of the major and biggest museums dedicated to underwater archaeology. Most of its collections are dating back from underwater excavations after 1960. These include:

  • Finike-Gelidonya shipwreck: 1958-1959
  • Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck: 1961-1964
  • Marmaris-Serçe harbour shipwreck: 11th century
  • Kaṣ-Uluburun shipwreck: 1982-1995
  • Tektaṣ glasswreck: (1996–2001)

What makes Bodrum Castle an Interesting Tourist Place

The former chapel is the home to exhibition of vases and amphoras form the Mycenaean age (14th century) and findings from the Bronze Age (around 2500 BC). This is what makes this castle a must to visit place. Other than this, it has an Italian Tower which has housed collection of centuries ago. One of its exhibition rooms is devoted exclusively to the tomb of a Carian princess, who left this world between 360 and 325 BC.

Here you can explore the beautiful collections of ancient glass objects, collected from all parts of the world. Two of its shipwrecks have been reconstructed: the Fatımi ship, sunk in 1077 AD, and Uluburun Shipwreck of 14th century BC.

From a historical point of view, the castle is of great importance. This is where you can come to take a glimpse of the rich cultural and traditional values of Turkey.


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