Day 15 – Bodrum, Turkey

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Published: October 18th 2023

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Budrum Castle massive iron doorwayBudrum Castle massive iron doorwayBudrum Castle massive iron doorway

We had low expectations for Bodrum, especially after our fabulous evening the night before. However, Bodrum has an ancient castle, started in 1402 by the Knights of St. John. We took a cab ride around the harbor to see what the old castle might have to offer. What an interesting place!

The church in the center was the first item erected and everything else around it was built in stages over many decades. It boasts four towers, but we counted five, each built by a different nationality. The Italians, Germans, French, Spanish and English all contributed their different architecture to structure which makes is architecturally unique and special. There are marble plaques over doors in all the sections within the castle, each displaying the coat of arms of that section’s benefactor and patrons. It truly is a marriage of cultures.

Many, many levels connected by a few ramps but mostly huge, uneven steps, made it clear what a fortress it really was. Sitting on a peninsula with the sea on three sides, it was virtually impenetrable from the sea in its day. The land side walls were reinforced a few times to help them withstand cannon fire.

Every

White castle peacockWhite castle peacockWhite castle peacock

castle must have a moat and this one does too. Something every castle does NOT have is peacocks. We were very surprised as two popped out of a small opening and ran in front of us. Turns out, there are many of them living within the castle. I have no idea why, but they clearly own the place.

The castle served as a refuge for all Christians until the rise of the Ottoman Empire. Once Bodrum became an Ottoman territory, a minaret was added to the church, but everything else remains as it was in the 15th century.

Many graves also still exist within the castle which is now used as the Undersea Archeology Museum. It was interesting to see all the artifacts recovered from the many ships sunken in the surrounding waters. Everything from huge amphora, anchors, statues to jewelry, knives, small ampoules and personal trinkets were on display.

We left the castle worn out and ready for a quick lunch. We wandered through the local shops on the way back to the ship. Yesterday took a lot our of us all and tomorrow will be another big day.

We said a fond farewell to

Modern Bodrum harborModern Bodrum harborModern Bodrum harbor

Turkey this evening as we got underway at sunset. We’ll make a quick hop across the Aegean and tomorrow we will awaken in Santorini, Greece.



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