Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is a truly fascinating museum, and the fact that it’s located in an ancient castle makes it that much more appealing. Visit this enthralling museum and many other fabulous attractions in comfort and style with one of our unforgettable Egypt and Turkey Tours.
Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in Turkey is located in the city of Bodrum, in an ancient castle known as Bodrum Castle. The museum only opened in 1962, but soon became the biggest museum of its kind, not only in Turkey, but in the entire world. Despite being a truly wonderful place to visit, the museum remains one of the lesser known tourist attractions in Turkey.
A Brief History Of Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum
Bodrum Castle was originally built in 1402 by the Knights Hospitaller who called it the Castle of St. Peter. Interestingly, some of the building materials, including a number of sculptural inscriptions were taken from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus which was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Knights Hospitallers were also known as the Knights of St. John or the Order of Hospitallers. Originally founded in 1023, the order later became a Christian military order and was given the responsibility of protecting the Holy Land.
The first main walls of Bodrum Castle were completed in 1437 but where later strengthened further when the threat of an Ottoman attack became imminent. The fortification efforts later proved to be very effective and the castle allowed the Knights to repel an Ottoman attack in 1453 when Constantinople got conquered.
The castle came under attack once more in 1480, but once again the Knights emerged victorious. As the years passed, further fortification was carried out to ensure the castle could survive cannon fire which was becoming increasingly more powerful. Once again, much of the materials used came from the nearby Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
In 1522 a castle which served as the headquarters of the Knights was conquered by a 200,000 strong Ottoman army. The Knights surrendered and subsequently handed Bodrum Castle over to the Ottoman Turks.
Bodrum Castle As It Stands Today
Before being turned into the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in 1962, the castle was used for various purposes, including a prison, but was eventually left deserted and remained that way for 40 years. It was after this that the museum was opened.
Today Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum attracts many thousands of people who visit not only to see the many artifacts, but also to explore the castle itself. A huge amount of effort has gone into creating a museum that is so much more than just a collection of artifacts.
Generally speaking, Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is essentially devoted to displaying items which have been recovered from sunken ships.
While you are not likely to see this museum featured in our current range of Egypt and Turkey Tours, we can add it to any one of our itineraries if you would like to visit the site during your stay in Turkey.
A Treasure Trove Of Ancient Treasure
One of the most notable collections consists of various artifacts that were recovered during Turkey’s first underwater excavation in 1958, of a ship dating back to the 12th century BC.
Another notable collection at Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum includes a wide variety of goods recovered from a 14th century BC shipwreck which was excavated between 1982 and 1995. This excavation recovered a large collection of Egyptian seals, including the seal of Queen Nefertiti. It also included several tons of copper; tin and glass ingots.
The museum houses a vast Mycenaean Age display and an equally impressive Bronze Age display. One of the world’s biggest ancient glass collections is also on display in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
There are also two reconstructed shipwrecks. The larger of the two is the Uluburun shipwreck which dates back to the 14th century BC, while the other one is the Fatimi shipwreck dating back to 1077 AD.
A Garden Fit For A King
Unlike many other museums, Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is additionally accompanied by an amazing garden inside the castle grounds. In some ways, one could even call the garden a museum as well since it contains virtually every kind of plant; shrub and tree found in the Mediterranean region.
Explore The Historical Sites Of Egypt And Turkey
If you would like to visit Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in Turkey, along with an almost endless number of other amazing historical sites in Turkey, please visit our Egypt and Turkey Tours. We offer an extensive range of quality package tours, as well as customized tours which can be tailored specifically for you.