sights / Historic

Mausoleum information

Bodrum , Turkey
Turgutreis Caddesi
admission ₺10
Opening hours
8am-7pm Tue-Sun, to 5pm winter
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One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum was the greatest achievement of Carian King Mausolus (r 376–353 BC), who also moved the Carian capital from Mylasa (Milas) to Halicarnassus. Today, the only ancient elements to survive are the pre-Mausolean stairways and tomb chambers, the Mausolean drainage system, the entry to Mausolus' tomb chamber, precinct wall bits and some large fluted marble column drums.

Before his death, the king planned his own tomb, to be designed by Pythius (architect of Priene's Temple of Athena). When he died, his wife (and sister), Artemisia, oversaw the completion of the enormous, white-marble tomb topped by stepped pyramids. Incredibly, the Mausoleum stood relatively intact until the Knights Hospitaller needed building material for the Castle of St Peter; between 1406 and 1522, almost all of it was reused or ground into powder for walls. Luckily, the more impressive ancient friezes were incorporated into the castle walls, while original statues of Mausolus and Artemisia were sent to the British Museum.

The site has relaxing gardens, with excavations to the right and a covered arcade to the left – the latter contains a copy of the famous frieze in the British Museum. Four original fragments displayed were discovered more recently. Models, drawings and documents indicate the grand dimensions of the original Mausoleum. A scale model of Mausolus' Halicarnassus and the Mausoleum also stand.