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Muğla Bodrum Underwater Archaelogy Museum



Bodrum Castle was established between two harbours, on a rocky peninsula surrounded with sea at three sides. It is attached to land from the northern side. The castle has a rectangular plan. Its dimensions are 180 x 185 metres. Its highest places are French towers of which are situated 47.5 metres above the sea level. Other than French tower, there are four more towers including English, Italian, German and Yılanlı towers. The areas of the castle at outer side of the eastern wall are reinforced with double castle wall. The chevaliers strengthened the ramparts at land side and did not do the same for sea ramparts as they believed that they would be able to avoid any attack from the sea side with their strong navy at sea.

In order to reach the inner castle, one should pass seven doors. The first door of the castle is at north - west corner. A ramp road should be passed near the police - station in order to reach the door. At the beginning of the ramp, the door stands at the back of the slope. Thus, the door is protected from direct firing of guns. There is a Greek inscription on marble door lento. Jacques Gatineau, who acted as the commander in the castle between 1512 - 1513, warned with this inscription that the people who made espionage in the castle would be punished. And this shows that the chevaliers did not trust the people of the city.

There is a part we called northern ditch when entered through inside. And there is a triple armorial bearing group at the inner side of the door. There are 249 armorial bearings on the walls of Bodrum castle. In addition, 16 armorial bearings are being exhibited in the garden of the museum. These armorial bearing are generally similar to each other. It is unknown to whom these bearings belong to, as the paints of these bearings, of which originals are painted, have disappeared.

There are crosses, vertical and horizontal bands, dragon and lion figures on the armorial bearings. There are traces of the paints on some of the armorial bearings located on castle towers. Colour traces are seen on St. Katerin embossment, on the way looking towards French tower, at eastern wall, on the flag at north - east upper corner of French tower.

The armorial bearing at the middle of the triple armorial bearing group located at the inner side of the 1st door of the castle belongs to Jacques Gatineau, the commander of the castle. The Latin script below the armorial bearings says: "Belief shall be protected here by Gatineau on behalf of Catholic Church". The lion on the door lento, at the left side of this armorial bearing group belongs to Hellenistic Period.

There is a passage from the wooden bridge, of which original is armorial bearing bridge, to the inclined stone road. Inside of the ditch was partially being filled with water before the construction of the harbor. The aggregate wall at right side was made when the castle was used as a prison. The building, which has thick walls and inclined roof, is a place for protection of the guns. The ditch was made for protection against the attacks to come from east in 1913, as it is understood from the armorial bearings on it. The gun slits are being seen through ditch and harbor direction. They are close to the sea level in order to be able to fire to the water section of the ships to enter to the harbor.

Today, the northern ditch is used as an area where the Bodrum Festival and theatre plays are being held. The grave seen behind the ditch, at the back of the sitting places belongs to Rome Period.
At the top of the 2nd door, there is a triple armorial bearing group on which there is a crowned eagle. There is a single armorial bearing at the left side of the triple armorial bearing group. An unused door exists at left side of this door. And there are two armorial bearings on the door. You may reach to the courtyard after passing the 2nd door. There is a harbor tower at one side of the courtyard looking towards the sea. The entrance of gun protection area is also located here. There is a Greek inscription on the door lento concerning the emperor Hadrianus. The gun protection area is still being used as an art gallery.

The 3rd door is a well-protected door. There are door gate and oil holes in the wall for iron plate movable for up and down directions. Two armorial bearings exist at left side of the 3rd door. There are armorial bearings of the dervish and Guy de Blanchfort (1512 - 1513) at right side. It is unknown to which chevalier the below crossed armorial bearing belonged.
One may reach to the western ditch after passing this door. All of the green stones seen on the castle walls at right were brought from Mausoleion. There is a statue of Roman commander in the niche of the harbor tower, at opposite side of the 4th door. Such statute bodies were widespread. Their heads were being made separately and when a new commander came, the head of the old commander was being taken from the body and replaced with the new commander's head.

The 4th door opens to a vault having stairs. There are four armorial bearings on this door. When you pass through the tree - lined road in the western ditch, instead of climbing upstairs from the 4th door, you may see altars, tombs and various works collected from Halikarnassos and its environs. The stone wall beginning from the cistern at left belongs to Turkish Castle built in the middle of the 14th century. Later, the chevaliers raised the walls with Mausoleion's stones and enlarged the castle. The chevaliers did not use the ditches as transportation way; they used to reach the inner castle by means of suspension bridges. The pillar of the suspension bridge made of Mausoleion's green stones can bee seen on the southern wall. The wall at both sides of the pillar was built when the castle was used as a prison. The stone stairs at the end of the ditch was also added to the castle later. The embossment on the wall at right side of the stairs shows Saint George killing a dragon. The original place of this embossment is not here. It is brought from the inner castle, from the northern wall of Italian tower. There are three armorial bearings below Saint George figure. When you climb the stairs, you see the cross and united armorial bearing of Piere d'Aubusson in the middle of the door. He worked as üstad-ı azam (the chief master) in Rhodes between 1476 and 1503. He visited Bodrum Castle many times. He was awarded by the pope with the rank of cardinal helmet as he imprisoned Cem Sultan who took refuge of him. The tasselled cardinal helmet is seen on the armorial bearing. The armorial bearing is a two-sided red cross on yellow ground. There are two more armorial bearings other than this.

The small tower at right side beyond the door is the control tower of suspension bridge. There is the monogram of II. Mahmut on the outer wall surface of this tower. Reckoned from the Hegira 1235 is written on this monogram. This monogram is written on a chevalier armorial bearing, as it is understood from the Malta cross.

In order to enter the inner castle, you should turn back and follow the narrow road. There is an armorial bearing on a high place, on the castle wall at left side. A photograph related with this armorial bearing is being exhibited from the loopholes, which are closed later.

The Latin inscription on the 5th door says "My Master protect us while sleeping and rescue while awake. Nobody can protect us without your protection". There is a triple armorial bearing group below the inscription. You may reach to the southern side of the castle, when you pass this door. There are two castle walls here. Two tombs are located across the 7th door, used as drinking basin before. There is a triple armorial bearing group on 7th floor.
You may enter the inner castle by means of a vaulted corridor. There is a cistern under this corridor. The previous armorial bearing group was embroidered on the entrance of the inner castle. There are 14 cisterns in the inner castle and under the chapel. The necessary water was obtained from these cisterns when the castle was besieged. Some of these cisterns are still being used.

It is possible to see all trees and flowers of archaic world and the region in the inner courtyard. One of these trees is bay - tree. (Daphne in Greek and Laurus in Latin language). The tree known as oleander in Anatolia ornaments the castle with its flowers and leaves which do not fall in summer and winter. There are plane trees in the middle of the courtyard of which shadows are found healthy by the kings and aristocrats. Among the trees grown in the region, there are olive trees which carry great importance in archaic world and myrtles which are used in many ceremonies. Myrtle was the holy tree of Aphrodite. Pigeon among the birds and rose among the flowers were vowed to Aphrodite. To meet with the salutation of pigeons and to smell the roses may remind Aphrodite to the visitors of the castle. Mandrake is a plan being exhausted. For this reason, this plant is being grown in the castle with a great care. This plant is known to be used for anesthesia. It is possible to see any kind of flower and trees suitable for Mediterranean climate including silk cloves blooming the most beautiful purple in summer, geranium with various colors, various cactuses, begonias and Cyprus acacia, pines, pomegranate trees and mulberry trees.

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