General Information

Bodrum (Halicarnassus) is thought to have been founded during the 11th century BC by either the Leleges or Minoans, both of which are archaic tribes in Anatolia and Crete respectively, distinct from the more well-known Greeks. The city was the capital of the Carians, which neighbored the Ionians, Dorians and at one point, the Lycians, being under constant strife with Athens.

Culture and History

Perhaps the most famous ruler of Halicarnassus is Mausolos (377-353 BC), who moved his residence here. After his death, his wife Artemisia commissioned a tomb to be built in his name, which would later be known as the Mausoleum of Mausolos, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Another famous figure to arise from the city is the historian Herodotos, the “father of history”.

The city has changed hands many times, just like its neighbors. It came under Persian, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk rule. The Knights Hospitaler from the island of Rhodes (Knights of St. John), a remnant of the Crusades, have built the famous Castle of St. Peter using the remains of the Mausoleum as a quarry. It wasn’t until 1522, when Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Rhodes, forcing the knights to abandon their territories and move briefly to Sicily and afterwards, Malta. Today, the peninsula is known as Bodrum, and houses some of the most pristine bays on the Aegean shores.