The Castle of St Peter or Bodrum Castle
The Castle of St. Peter ( Bodrum Castle ) is Bodrum’s acclaimed landmark. For six centuries it served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a small village and a fortress prison. Today it houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology , one of the best of its kind in the world.
The initial circuit of walls were completed in 1437, with other walls and moats being added at a later stage.In 1453, the castle became the sole Christian stronghold in Anatolia. Final completion was around 1522 just as Suleyman’s capture of the Knights headquarters on Rhodes occurred and thus made it impossible for the Knights to remain in Bodrum. Until the 19th century, the castle remained severely neglected until the chapel was converted into a mosque, the keep made into the prison and the hamam was installed. Finally fully refurbished in 1960; it became the museum it is today.
HistoryThe Knights of St John built the castle over a small Seljuk fortress that was originally stood there.
The initial circuit of walls were completed in 1437, with other walls and moats being added at a later stage.
Exhibits at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Lower courtyardIn the lower courtyard the former chapel exhibits vases and amphora from the Mycenaean age (12-14th century BC) and findings from the Bronze Age (around 2500 BC).
Italian TowerThe Italian Tower exhibits the Coin and Jewellery Hall and another exhibition room The Carian Princess Hall is devoted to the tomb of a Carian noblewoman, who died in the 4th century BC. The ancient glass on show in the museum is one of the four biggest collections in the world. The Glass Wreck Hall has two reconstructed ancient shipwrecks; the Fatımi ship, sunk in 1077 AD, and the large Uluburun shipwreck from the 14th century BC.
English TowerThe English Tower has assorted standards of the Order of St. John along with an array of medieval armour and weapons.
German TowerWalk through the upper courtyard to the German Tower which exhibits Ottoman royal seals (tugras) and onto the Snake Tower so called for the serpent relief plaque over the entrance.
Gatineau TowerThe Knights former dungeon is in the Gatineau Tower and the Latin inscription above the door translates to “Here God does not exist”.
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