A visit to Bodrum's Castle of St. Peter is a must-see in Bodrum, and many visitors are surprised to find such riveting blend of ancient and modern behind the imposing stone walls. Whether viewed from the land or the sea, Bodrum's famous castle is an impressive example of medieval architecture. Occupying some thirty thousand square feet at its base, construction of the castle took years to complete. In its days, the castle was a monumental symbol of the unity of Christian Europe against the ascending power of the Ottomans.

The castle is in excellent condition, it now houses a remarkable museum (with exhibits on underwater archaeology). The walls of the castle are studded with 249 coats of arms. A lot of the stones used in the construction come from the tomb of king Mausolus (†353 BC). One of the Seven Wonders of the world, its massive construction survived for centuries until an earthquake brought it down in medieval times. The knights used the ruins as a quarry. While reinforcing the castle in 1522, they even discovered the funerary chamber of the king, whose treasures were quickly looted. Almost nothing remains on the site of the Mausoleum, but the frieze which decorated the castle was taken to London in the 1830s, and smaller architectural elements still remain, their white marble readily visible.

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