Adriatic   Aegean   Ionian   Mediterranean

Bodrum and Vicinity

Bodrum, originally known as Halikarnassos, was one of the earliest centers of civilization, settled in 12th Century B.C. Halikarnassos was home to Herodotus, the "father of history", who traced the city's roots thousands of years back to the Dorians. Later conquering and inhabiting the city were the Carians, Lelegians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines and finally, the Turks, who introduced the name Bodrum. 

Bodrum and its surrounding region are home to some of the world's richest cultural treasures, including three of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Magnificent ancient sites are found nestled between charming villages and agricultural fields. Bodrum is also a rare international resort center that combines contemporary and traditional lifestyles. Amid ancient ruins lies a lively urban city replete with fine restaurants, a host of nightclubs and bars, exciting discothèques, and relaxing cafes. Whether seeking a jet-setting holiday or a slow-paced journey through the ancient world, Bodrum features alluring amenities for all tastes. 

A long list of "must-see" attractions in and around Bodrum includes:

• The Halikarnassos Mausoleum – This awe-inspiring construction is Bodrum’s oldest landmark and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Standing over 50 meters tall, this relic was built by Queen Artemisia II in honor of her husband, King Mausolos of Persia, who died in 353 B.C. The Mausoleum now is recalled as an open air museum; guided tours are led by historians who weave fascinating tales of ancient times.

• 13,000 seat Amphitheatre – Dating back to the time of Mausolos, this large outdoor site is remarkably well-preserved and offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

• The Ancient Myndus Gate – Built in 364 B.C. by King Mausolos, this gate is famed for holding Alexander the Great and his Macedonian troops at bay – no small feat! One of only two entrances to ancient Halikarnassos, the gate served as a defense against invading forces and is one of the most enduring relics of the ancient world.

• The Castle of St. Peter – The holy shrine dedicated to St. Peter is one the best preserved remaining medieval historical sites. Built during the 11th Century, the castle originally served as a church and hospital and later became a military site during the Crusades.

• A 15th Century castle built by St. John of Rhodes, featuring an exhibit displaying the world’s oldest shipwreck. City officials recently opened a museum on the site which is known for its underwater archeological wonders. 

• The Marble Streets of Ephesus – Home to another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the monumental Temple of Artemis. Ephesus was an incredible center of learning and a city with a fascinating religious history. It was originally founded by Greece in the 11th Century B.C. and was the most important city in Asia Minor for subsequent centuries. It was upon these streets that St. Paul once preached, and hidden among the overlooking hills, lies a remote chapel built upon the site believed to be the final home of Mary, the mother of Jesus. You will never forget your visit here.

• Pamukkale – A natural phenomenon known primarily for its "Cotton Castle", a fairy-like network of calcified hot springs and basins. Visitors from around the world have journeyed to this environmental anomaly in search of the therapeutic powers of its springs, which spill majestically over the hillside like warm milk. Over time, these springs have adorned the area with a beautiful whitened face, replete with a broad series of stalactites, cataracts and, of course, luxurious natural baths. 

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