Castle of Saint Peter aka Bodrum Castle (Bodrum Kalesi)

Castle of Saint Peter also known as a Bodrum Castle is a medieval citadel located in Bodrum harbor of Turkey.


Location: Bodrum Harbor  Map

Constructed: 1402- 37

Tel. (0252) 316 25 16

Open: 9am- noon & 2pm- 7pm


History of Castle of Saint Peter

Castle of Saint Peter Bodrum Castle was constructed in 1402 by Knights Hospitaller who named it after Saint Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ and a first bishop of Rome. It was occasionally referred as Petronium for this reason. Grand Master of the order Philibert de Naillac (1396–1421) needed a secure line of defences on the mainland to protect his headquarters on the Rhode Island from Turkish invasion, so it was chosen as a great location. The Crusaders under leadership of German knight-architect Heinrich Schlegelholt didn't bother to keep all stones uniform and alike. Some of the building material came from nearby ancient and medieval structures that were taken apart. This unfortunate fate didn't escape even Mausoleum of Maussollos, one of the great Seven Wonders of the Antiquity. Walls and towers of Castle of Saint Peter in some places look like a mosaic of stones with different colors and shapes.


In 1522 knights lost Castle of Saint Peter to Sultan Suleiman of the Turkish Empire. His armies captured Rhodes, the heart of the order so Hospitallers had to give up most of their possession in the Eastern Mediterranean. The stronghold kept its military use, but it was largely ignored. Only during the Greek Revolt in 1824 it became again an important military base for Ottoman military. By the end of the century, however, Castle of Saint Peter abandoned completely by the army. Instead it was turned into a prison. During World War I French warship did open fire at Castle of Saint Peter, destroying minaret (tower) of the mosque and other structures on the site. Italians also briefly held the citadel but withdrew shortly after the end of the war. Bodrum Castle was turned into a museum of basically of itself and its history. In 1967 it had a new addition of Underwater Archaeology museum with a collection of artefacts salvaged from ancient and medieval ships that went down off the coast of Turkey and Greece.

Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology was established in the Bodrum Castle in 1962 by the Turkish Government. It houses a large collection of ancient ships that were discovered on the bottom of the Aegean Sea. They date from the 16th century BC to 16th century AD with cargo items from all over the Mediterranean Sea.