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Divan Bodrum

Experience Bodrum

Bodrum

Bodrum

Bodrum stands on the site of ancient Halicarnassos. Founded in 1,000 B.C., the city was at its zenith during the 4th century B.C. under the rule of the remarkable Hecatomnid dynasty. The most famous Hecatomnid monarch is undoubtedly Mausolus, but the dynasty also produced three extraordinary queens: Artemisia the Elder, Artemisia the Younger (both highly skilled in warfare as the Rhodians and Persians discovered to their cost) and Ada, who became an intimate friend of Alexander the Great. It was Artemisia the Younger who completed her brother-husband’s great tomb – the original Mausoleum - which was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly, very little of it remains today. Bodrum is now a popular tourist resort with a beautiful old quarter of winding lanes and whitewashed houses draped in purple bougainvillea. The town is dominated by the great crusader Castle of Saint Peter, which today houses a fascinating Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

Gümüşlük / Myndos

Gümüşlük / Myndos

The village of Gümüşlük stands on the site of ancient Myndos. Apart from some harbour installations and a very handsome post and lintel doorway, very little of the city remains, but the setting, at the end of the Bodrum Peninsula, could not be lovelier, and there are also several excellent restaurants in Gümüşlük. A trip to Gümüşlük would be a very pleasant and relaxing way to while away an afternoon during your stay at the Divan Bodrum.

Bargylia

Bargylia

Bargylia lies only a short distance from the centre of Bodrum, but few people seem to know about it. This is puzzling, since its ruins are impressive and its location is extremely attractive: The city stands on a steep-sided hill that projects into a broad, shallow lagoon crossed by a causeway. The ruins include fragmentary city walls, a massive Byzantine fortress and a charming theatre in which olive trees have taken root. The site is especially beautiful in spring when large areas of it are carpeted with wild iris.

Milas

Milas

Milas stands on the site of ancient Mylasa, the first capital of the Hecatomnid dynasty of Caria before King Mausolus transferred that dignity to Bodrum-Halicarnassos. The town still retains some striking mementoes of its illustrious past, including the Temple of Zeus, now reduced to a massive platform and a single standing column that is usually surmounted by a stork’s nest, a city gat, known as the Gate of the Axe, and the remarkable mausoleum known as Gümüşseken. This is exceptionally well-preserved and perhaps gives us some idea of how the original Tomb of Mausolus may have looked. Milas enjoyed a second period of glory in the early 14th century when it became the capital of the Menteşe emirs who constructed a large han and the city’s Great Mosque.

Labranda

Labranda

Labranda is one of the grandest ancient sites in western Turkey, its monuments arrayed along a series of massive platforms high on a mountainside. It was not a city but a Sacred Precinct dedicated to Zeus Stratius – a local Carian deity of notably androgynous appearance – and was linked to Milas by a processional way. The precinct is entered through a propylon or monumental gateway from which a broad staircase leads past a fountain-house to a group of androns, or sacred banqueting halls. The andron is an architectural form unique to Labranda, and the third of them is almost perfectly preserved, as is the neighbouring priests’ house or oikoi. Both overlook the vast, shattered ruins of the Temple of Zeus Stratius in a setting of exceptional natural beauty.

Euromos

Euromos

Little remains of the city of Euromos except its splendid Temple of Zeus Lepsynus. Thought to date from the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117 – 138), it is one of the best-preserved Corinthian temples in Turkey, with fully sixteen of its tall columns still standing in a glade shaded by olive trees, making this a site not to be missed.

Iassos

Iassos

Iassos is one of the richest ancient sites that lies within easy reach of the Divan Bodrum. It is also one of the oldest, since excavations have revealed quantities of Minoan and Mycenaean pottery dating back to the dawn of the Bronze Age. The city lies on a steep-sided promontory linked to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. A handsome gateway gives access to a very broad agora with a well-preserved bouleterion or council chamber. To the left is a Byzantine fortress with great semi-circular bastions. Beyond the agora are a small Temple of Zeus Megistos and a Byzantine church with floor mosaics. Other monuments include a large theatre (next to which is a fascinating excavated area of narrow streets lined with houses), a fortified acropolis, a lavish Roman mansion with traces of frescoes and a Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone.

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