Bodrum stands on the site of ancient Halicarnasus, which was the birthplace of Herodotus. It was founded by Mausolus, King of Caria, whose tomb the Mausoleum was numbered among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built by his sister and wife Artemisia II, and the word mausoleum remains the general term for any monumental tomb.
The old town with its narrow lanes, white-washed houses, and cascades of purple bougainvillea is dominated by the massive bulk of the Crusader Castle of St. Peter. Today, the castle houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, one of the finest regional museums in Türkiye. The museum is not just a dusty collection of lifeless relics but an original creative and exciting experience. Of particular note is an exquisite display of glass salvaged from ancient and medieval shipwrecks. The idyllic landscape of the Bodrum Peninsula is scattered with charming old Greek villages and small ancient sites.