January is a pretty depressing month. The days are short and cold, and it seems like winter will never end. Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the winter, and January can be a particularly bad month for it. The post-festive season come down, coupled with the cold, dark days are enough to make anyone feel down in the dumps, which is why many people book their summer holidays during January to give them something to look forward to. If you’re thinking of travelling to the beautiful coastal town of Bodrum this summer then here are three things you must do during your stay…
- St Peter’s Castle – Bodrum’s stunning castle was built in the early 15th century by the Knights Hospitaller during Tamerlane’s Mongol invasion of Anatolia in 1402, where they remained until 1522 when Suleyman the Magnificent captured Rhodes and forced the Knights to give up the castle. The victorious Muslim sultan then built a mosque in the castle, which remained untested until World War One when French shelling toppled the minaret. The castle is now home to an informative museum full of reconstructions and multimedia displays to bring it to life. You’ll need at least two hours to get round the museum properly and it can get very busy so try to go early.
- Museum of Underwater Archaeology – Whilst you’re at St Peter’s Castle it’d be rude not to visit the museum too. The space inside the castle that now houses the museum was once used to store booty collected during underwater archaeology missions. The ancient exhibits are brought to life with lighting, information panels, maps, models, murals, drawings, dioramas, and videos to help animate them. There’s so much to see in the museum that you’ll need to allow at least two hours to get around everything.
- Mausoleum – The Mausoleum in Bodrum is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and was the greatest achievement of Carian King Mausolus (r376-353 BC) who also moved the capital of Caria from Mylasa to Halicarnassus, which is what we now call Bodrum. The Mausoleum stoof relatively intact until the Knights Hospitaller required building materials for the Castle of St Peter and subsequently cannibalised the Mausoleum for their own needs. All that remains now are the pre-Mausolean stairways and tomb chambers, the drainage system, the entry to Mausolus’ tomb chamber, the precinct wall, and some large fluted marble column drums. The site on which the Mausoleum stands now has some relaxing gardens as well as drawings and models to indicate the grandeur of the original monument.