Bodrum, the native land of the famous historian Heredot, is an important tourism center in our country, which attracts attention for its natural beauties as well as its history. We know that the native people, namely the Lelegs and the Carians had lived on the hills in the Peninsula of Bodrum. In the year 1000 B.C., those who came here during the Doric migrations, settled in the area where the fortress stands today and mixed with the native people. So, the city of Halicarnassos was founded. The city, which was captured by the Lydians in the first half of the 6th century B.C., and by the Persians in the year 546 B.C., was joined with the Satrapy of Saird later. In the year 377 B.C. Mausolos got hold of Western Anatolia, had many cities constructed in the region of Caria, and had the capital of Caria moved from Milas to Halicarnassos. With the aim of enlarging the city, Mausolos had six of the nine Leleg cities moved to this region, and had the city surrounded with walls and had many palaces, theaters and temples built in the city.
The most important one of these, is the monumental tomb constructed for Mausolos and his wife Artemisia II. The construction had started in the year 355 B.C. and became one of the seven wonders of the world at its completion in 340 B.C. According to the information supplied by the historian Pinius, the tomb consisted of four parts; there were a high base at the lowest level, a gallery of 36 columns upon it, and a roof of 24 steps upon which the statues of Mausolos and his wife were placed. The architect of the monumental tomb was Pytheos, and the relief engravings were made by sculptors such as Skopas, Leochares, Bryaxis and Timothes. The stones of the tomb which was ruined by an earthquake in the 14th century, were later used by the Knights of Rhodes in the construction of the fortress that exists today. The tendrils found in the tomb and the statues at the top are kept at the British Museum.
When Artemisia II died in the year 351 B.C., she was succeeded by Idrius who was in turn succeeded by Ada, who was dethroned by her brother Pixodaros. Meanwhile, Alexander the Great entered Anatolia and made Ada ascend the throne. The Queen’s tomb, discovered in recent years, is displayed at the museum today. The city which was captured by Lysimachos following the death of Alexander the Great, was later subjected to Rhodes and Pergamon, and still, later Rome got hold of Anatolia totally.
Owing to the fact that Bodrum was founded upon the ancient city of Halicarnassos, not much is left to our day from the ancient city. The theater, the stoa of Mars and Apollon situated within the gardens in the city, the theater on the hill belonging to the Hellenistic period have been restored today. Former sources of information state that, the temple of Mars and the stoa of Apollon were under the road in front of the theater, and the temples of Hermes and Aphrodite were in the place of the public square existing today. The fortress is the city symbol. The Knights of Rhodes had it constructed in the year 1402, and it was reinforced with the Italian, English, German and French towers. It was taken by the Turks in 1523, and it is used as an underwater museum today. The underwater and Princess Ada are the sections that attract the greatest attention here. There are not many Turkish works in Bodrum. The famous crafts called the Crafts of Bodrum today, were constructed here during the Ottoman period.