Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Unfortunately there is not a lot left to see of this ancient and once magnificent tomb, which was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but now one must rely just on imagination and (computer) models. King Mausolus of Caria ordered the construction of the ornate marble monument. The mausoleum was completed in 350 BC after the death of the Carian satrap Mausolus by his wife and sister Artemisia II, the actual construction being done by the architect Pytheos. The monument tomb was in the centre of Halicarnassus, rising over a large plot of land.

The mausoleum standing at over 164 feet (50 metres) in height, is described as being an enormous white marble tomb with ionic columns to form a temple with a stepped pyramid roof topped with a carriage, containing sculptures of Mausolus and Artemisia riding in a chariot. This stood relatively intact for almost 19 centuries until an earthquake in 1304 destroyed it.

In 1522, after the earthquake caused the monument to collapse, the Knights Hospitaller of St John, then based in Rhodes, came to the region and demolished much of the Mausoleum of King Mausolus, using the stones for the reconstruction of the Bodrum Castle, named after St Peter. (Look for the greenish stones on the exterior of the chapel just beyond the entrance to the main portion of the museum.) Because of the damage caused by plundering, earthquakes and irresponsible excavations, todays archaeologists can only guess at the building’s original appearance. Some sections of the walls of the Mausoleum can be seen around the Myndos Gate on the Gumbet road. The site has pleasant gardens with excavations to the right and a covered arcade to the left. Despite the lack of the original tomb, this site is well worth a visit.

Turgut Reis Cad., up the hill off Hamam Sokagi (see map below). Admission fee 5 TL Opening hours : between 08:30 am 12:00 am and 01:00 pm and 05:00 pm - closed on Mondays. Phone : 0252-316 1219

More pictures from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum