Over the years Bodrum Castle has served as a military base, public bath and a prison. Now, it is a museum, featuring an underwater archaeological exhibit, the mummy of Ada and the oldest shipwreck in the world, you can also inspect the Mausoleum of King Mausolos, built by Queen Artemis in the fourth century BC.
Built in the 15th century by Rhodes Knights, who dedicated the structure to Saint Peter (which is why it's also known as St Peter's Castle), Bodrum Castle became the refuge for all Christians on the west coast of Asia during the crusades. The workers who built it were guaranteed a place in Heaven by a 1409 papal decree - quite a perk, if you think about it.
The kinights used green volcanic stone, marble columns and reliefs from the Mausoleum of King Mausolos to fortify the castle. It was built in the most modern design of the time, which involved twisting passages leading to the entry gates, aimed to confuse assailants and leave them vulnerable to projectiles hurled from the fortress defenders.
Over the years Bodrum Castle has been renovated several times, both for fortification and restoration. In the mid 15th century the castle came under attack from the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mehmed II. These attacks were thwarted by the knights. A few years later, Mehmed II's son hid in the castle after a failed revolt against his brother, Sultan Bayezid II. Not long after this, the castle was once again fortified - cannons were becoming increasingly powerful so this was necessary to thwart attack, although they neglected the sea-facing side of the castle as they were confident of their powerful fleet.
In the 16th century 200,000 of the sultan's soldiers attacked the castle from the Bay of Marmaris. The Rhodes Knights' fortress was no more, and they handed over the castle as their terms for surrender.
Today, it's fully restored, and I'm sure you'll agree that it's a stunning structure - one that makes even the most impressive Bodrum villa pale in comparison!
View properties in Bodrum