Bodrum is Turkey’s most attractive and westernized bid resort town. Whitewashed buildings with bougainvillea coat the hillsides behind the several horseshoe shaped bays separated by a grand medieval fortress. It’s a yachting paradise par excellence, with a spider’s web of the masts of a thousand gullets rising above the marina. At mid-morning hundreds of boats’ decks are hidden under sunbathers waiting for trips along the Aegean coast. By night, the town transforms into a hedonistic playground, its so many narrow back streets crammed with aplenty bars pulsating to the latest clubs’ sounds. This resort town clings tentatively to its very bohemian picture with some vaguely arty shops, but now package vacationers on organized club crawls more accurately set the tone. Everyone visits Halikarnas disco club – a stunning outdoor dancing nightclub decked out with classical columns and an modern amphitheater over the sea.
Bodrum’s earlier name is Halicarnassus, capital of ancient Caria, a strongly independent-minded region stretching east to include Marmaris which was only Hellenized in Alexander the Great’s time after the Persians. The Father of History, Herodotus was born in Bodrum. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum’s remains are here, and was built by his sister-wife for him. Mausolus was the most famous and powerful ruler back in the times. His Mausoleum dates back to 355BC.
The toppled mausoleum functioned as a stone quarry for the Crusader Knights of the St John to build the 15th-century Fortress of St Peter. Within the double curtain walls are separate towers for the different knights from France, Germany, Italy and England, who carved their army coats of arms in the stone walls. Many of the rooms and towers houses mini archeological museums. Worth visiting is the dramatic Carian Princess Ada’s exhibition: She was the sister of Mausolus and has been revivified from her bones and being displayed with her personal golden ornaments from her tomb. The other exciting exhibition which must be seen is the 11th century dated Glass Wreck and its restored old Gullet.
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