Mausoleum At Halicarnassus
It wouldn’t be a trip to Bodrum without visiting one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus!
Halicarnassus, which we know today as Bodrum, was an ancient Greek city located in a beautiful and advantageous position on the southwest coast. Its once-enormous temple was the first Mausoleum in the world, named after the old King Mausolus. Although it’s in ruins today, it’s still worth visiting to get a feel for times gone by and tick an Ancient Wonder off your bucket list.
Planning a holiday to Turkey? Bodrum could be your perfect destination. There’s something for everyone in this tourist-favourite city, from the yacht-lined harbour to history, culture, and plenty of glamorous restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is just one of several historical sites around Bodrum. More include the Castle of St Peter and the Temple of Apollo. You could also explore the countryside or relax at the beach – it’s a perfect choice for any Turkish holiday.
What is the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus?
The story of the Mausoleum starts with King Mausolus of Caira, who moved his capital city to Halicarnassus many centuries ago. The king’s workers deepened the harbour, paved streets and squares, and built houses for ordinary citizens. They also built walls and towers, a theatre, a temple to Ares, and an enormous fortified castle for Mausolus.
Throughout his rule, King Mausolus made many dramatic improvements to Halicarnassus. When he died in 353 BC, his wife Artemisia began constructing a tomb to commemorate him, overlooking the city.
The Tomb of Mausolus was finished in 350 BC and became known as the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Some historians suggest the project was started by Mausolus before his death since such an impressive construction is unlikely to have been completed in just three years.
Today, we call any freestanding tomb building a mausoleum, thanks to King Mausolus and Artemisia!
What does the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus look like?
When it still stood, the elevated Mausoleum was around 45 metres high with a square foundation. Each of its four sides was once adorned with beautiful reliefs created by four Greek sculptors.
Sadly, the monument was destroyed by earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century. Of the six destroyed Wonders of the World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was the last one standing. Today, the site appears in ruins; visitors can only get an idea of the tomb’s size and significance.
Visiting the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum ruins are in central Bodrum, on Turgutreis Street, a stone’s throw from the glistening waters of the port. That means it’s convenient to visit no matter where you’re staying in the city. Simply walk to the site, soaking up the local atmosphere and sunshine along the way, or hop in a taxi if your resort is a little further.
The site is open most days, with visitors usually permitted during daylight hours. Opening times can vary, so be sure to check before you travel if you’re visiting from far away. Tickets cost around 14 Turkish Lira, which is less than £2 per person.