Bodrum (from Petronium), formerly Halicarnassus (Turkish: Halikarnas, Ancient Greek: Ἁλικαρνασσός ), is a Turkish port town in Muğla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of the country. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and it faces the Greek island of Kos. Today, it is an international center of tourism and yachting. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times. The Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was here.
Bodrum Castle, built by the Crusaders in the 15th century, overlooks the harbor and the International Marina. The castle grounds includes a Museum of Underwater Archeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year.
The first recorded settlers in Bodrum region were the Carians and the harbor area was colonized by Dorian Greeks as of the 7th century BC and the city later fell under Persian rule. Under the Persians, it was the capital city of the satrapy of Caria, the region that had since long constituted its hinterland and of which it was the principal port. Its strategic location ensured that the city enjoyed considerable autonomy. Archaeological evidence from the period such as the recently discovered Salmakis (Kaplankalesi) Inscription, now in Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, attest to the particular pride[clarification needed] its inhabitants had developed . A famous native was Herodotus, the Greek historian (484-420 BC).
Mausolus ruled Caria from here, nominally on behalf of the Persians and independent in practical terms for much of his reign between 377 to 353 BC. When he died in 353 BC, Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his sister and his widow, employed the ancient Greek architects Satyros and Pythis, and the four sculptors Bryaxis, Scopas, Leochares and Timotheus to build a monument, as well as a tomb, for him. The word “mausoleum” derives from the structure of this tomb. It was a temple-like structure decorated with reliefs and statuary on a massive base. It stood for 1700 years and was finally destroyed by earthquakes. Today only the foundations and a few pieces of sculpture remain.
Alexander the Great laid siege to the city after his arrival in Carian lands and, together with his ally, the queen Ada of Caria, captured it after heavy fighting.
Crusader Knights arrived in 1402 and used the remains of the Mauseoleum as a quarry to build the still impressively standing Bodrum Castle (Castle of Saint Peter), which is also particular in being one of the last examples of Crusader architecture in the East.
The Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes were given the permission to build it by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed I, after Tamerlane had destroyed their previous fortress located in Izmir’s inner bay. The castle and its town became known as Petronium, whence the modern name Bodrum derives.
In 1522, Suleyman the Magnificent conquered the base of the Crusader knights on the island of Rhodes, who then withdrew to Malta, leaving The Castle of Saint Peter and Bodrum to the Ottoman Empire.