The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was a list of awe-inspiring works of engineering for ancient Greeks to explore in the eastern Mediterranean. Only one of these (the Great Pyramid) remains today. The others are just ruins or don't exist at all today. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is an interesting case where its stones were extensively quarried by the Crusaders to build the beautiful Bodrum Castle in what is today Turkey.

Bodrum is one of the most popular cities in Turkey today. The city is famous for its majestic Aegean views with some of the best of the beauty of the Mediterranean. While there, take time to learn about the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to be lost and the impressive Bodrum Castle there today.


What To Know Of The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a massive tomb built between 353 and 350 BC in southwestern Turkey during the Persian (or Achaemenid) Empire. It was built for the satrap, Mausolus. Mausolus was a powerful regional ruler in this part of Anatolia. It is from his name, Mausolus, that we get the word "Mausoleum" aka a large tomb above ground today.

The tomb, or "mausoleum" was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene was considered a truly impressive wonder of engineering at the time.

  • Built: Between 353 and 350 BC
  • Height: Approx. 45 m (148 ft)
  • Considered: One of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Related: The Lighthouse Of Alexandria And What Can Be Seen Today

Destruction of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Unfortunately, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus does not exist today. That being said the foundation of the mausoleum has been found and can be explored.

For thousands of years, the mighty Mausoleum was protected until the 13th century when the forces of nature overtook it. It was destroyed by earthquakes between the 12th and 15th centuries and was the last of the Seven Wonders to be destroyed - apart from the Great Pyramid.

  • Destroyed: The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Was Destroyed By Earthquakes

The Mausoleum Used To Build The Bodrum Castle

Today one of the most impressive crusader castles to survive is the Bodrum Castle. It was built from 1402 by the Knights of St. John. It is famous for having been built by knights from different European countries with its four towers being called the English, French, German, and Italian towers.

  • Bodrum Castle: Built By The Knights of St. John of Rhodes
  • Quarried: The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Was Quarried To Build Bodrum Castle

The knights made use of the marble columns, squared volcanic stone, and reliefs from the destroyed Mausoleum in constructing Bodrum Castle. During this time, much of the remaining parts of the mighty tomb were broken up and used in the castle walls. Today one can still see sections of polished marble from the tomb in the castle.

Soon after it was built, Bodrum Castle was captured by the growing Ottoman Empire with its chapel converted into a mosque.

Related: This Is What It's Like To Be Inside The Great Pyramid Of Giza

Visit Bodrum Castle & Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology

Today Bodrum Castle has been converted into a museum for the underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the neighboring Aegean Sea. One can not only admire the stunning beauty of this crusader castle, but also the museum's collection of amphorae, bronze, clay, ancient glass, and many other artifacts.

  • Largest: The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology Is The Largest Of Its Kind

One will see artifacts retrieved from many ancient shipwrecks including the Finike-Gelidonya shipwreck from the 12th century BC. Other wrecks date from the Roman, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Hellenistic periods.

Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology:

  • Visiting Hours: 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
  • Closed: Mondays
  • Admission: 20 Turkish Lira ($1.50)

While exploring the underwater archeology museum, take time to marvel at the stunning crusader castle, and then imagine how it was partially built from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Visit The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Today one can visit the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. It is now an open-air museum, although there isn't all that much to be seen as the stone has been extensively quarried.

  • See: The Ruins Of The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Another place to learn about the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is in the unlikely place of London. If in London, take time to visit the British Museum where one can see some statues and relief sculptures of the ancient Mausoleum on display. These artifacts were taken by the British archeologist Sir Newton in 1857.