Forty years ago the Castle stood out even more as Bodrum was so small. How things have changed. But the magic still exists once you get inside this robust building.

 

The one historic sight in Bodrum that cannot be missed, even if you don’t go inside, is the castle. It lies on a promontory that was once an island, in the centre of the two bays. The western bay was the original site of Halicarnassus, a perfect defensible location with a sheltered harbour.

 

Along what is now known as Bar Street you come to the Halicarnassus Disco, which was originally a hotel, and was the furthest point east well into the 1970s.

The western side of town ended at the current Yacht Marina, which was a boatyard in those days, entered through a huge stone gate which you can still see.

The Castle was built by the Knights of St John in 1402 – 1437, when the outer walls were finally completed. The Knights at this time operated from their huge fortifications in Rhodes and, following the collapse of the Seljuk empire in Turkey, they decided a second centre of operations on the mainland was their next move.

They used ancient stone from all over the town in construction and slabs from the Mausoleum can still be seen in the Castle stonework.

You can spend a whole day in the Castle, lunching in one of its two cafes, or taking your own picnic.

This is the main entrance into the interior – you really can imagine the Crusaders riding their horses here – in fact you can see some of their coats of arms over the doorway at the top of the photo.

And the next stage of the entry is through an equally impressive arched stone tunnel.

But there’s far too much to write about the Castle, by the way it’s full name is the Castle of St. Peter, for one article. So we’ll tell you more shortly.

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