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Turkey´s Wonders of the World

6/20/2010

The Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus

Designed by Greek architects, the Mausoleum of Maussollos was a tomb built around 350 BC in Halicarnassus, what is now modern-day Bodrum. Built by architect Pythius for Mausolus, a satrap (governor) in the Persian Empire, the tomb was a rectangular building around 45 meters high, situated on a hill overlooking the city. 

Commissioned by Artemisia, the wife AND sister of Mausolus (it was customary at the time for rulers to marry their siblings), it was decorated with great artwork and was considered so beautiful that it became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 

Both Mausolus and Artemisia died before the tomb was complete (she two years after him) but both were buried inside and the craftsmen stayed on to finish, believing that it was a memorial to their work. 

The tomb remained intact for 16 centuries, before a series of earthquakes shattered the columns and bit by bit the tomb fell into disrepair. At some time in the 16th century the tomb was broken into and many of the artifacts taken. It is a matter of debate whether the bodies were taken, or their ashes buried instead, but when the Knights of St John of Malta invaded and dismantled the tomb, there were no bodies found. The Knights used some of the stones of the now ruined building to create many others around Bodrum, including Bodrum castle. Today, you can see some of the stones in the castle’s walls. 

The word mausoleum has since come to be used generically for any grand tomb. 

Pictures of Bodrum Castle

All about Bodrum on our sister website, Turkey For You


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The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Next >>
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul


1. Turkey´s Wonders of the World
2. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
3. The Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
4. Hagia Sophia in Istanbul


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