Castle of Saint Peter aka Bodrum Castle (Bodrum Kalesi)

Castle of Saint Peter aka Bodrum Castle (Bodrum Kalesi)

Location: Bodrum Harbor  Map

Constructed: 1402- 37

Tel. (0252) 316 25 16

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

Bodrum Castle is located in Turkey's port city of Bodrum and was built in 1402 by St. The castle was built by the Knights of St. John under the name of St. Peter's Castle. The castle, which has become the symbol of Bodrum, has been used as the "Underwater Archeology Museum" since 1960.



The reason for the construction of the castle was that the Knights needed a safe zone on the mainland against the threat of the growing Ottoman Empire. Bodrum, close to Kos, where a castle had already been built, was chosen as the place to build the castle. In the area where the castle was built, there were defensive foundations from the Dorians period and a small Seljuk castle from the 11th century. Between 1402 and 1522, St. The castle, controlled by the Knights of St. Jean, is the joint work of Italian, French, German and British, rather than a single nation. Different parts of the castle were built at different times. The chapel was completed in 1406, the English Tower in 1413, and the first walls in 1437.

Although the Ottoman Empire attacked the castle from time to time throughout the 15th century, the castle resisted these attacks. Cem Sultan is his brother II. He took refuge in the castle after his unsuccessful coup attempt against Bayezid.

The castle, along with Kos and Rhodes, came under Ottoman rule as a result of the Siege of Rhodes in 1523. As a result, a minaret was added to the castle and the chapel inside the castle was converted into a mosque under the name "Süleymaniye Mosque". The castle, which was under Ottoman control for 400 years, lost its former importance during this time and was used as a military base and prison from time to time. Various artifacts and reliefs found in the castle were taken to the British Museum in England with Ottoman permission in the 19th century.

As a result of the fire opened by a French warship in the First World War, the minaret of the castle was destroyed and some of its towers were damaged. Although it came under Italian rule for a short time, Italian forces withdrew from the castle in 1921. The castle, which remained empty for about 40 years after the war, was later converted into the Underwater Archeology Museum.



Bodrum Castle was built on a rocky area between two harbours. This area, which was first an island in ancient times, later became a peninsula by being connected to the city. The castle has a square plan and measures 180 x 185 m. There are different names given country within the inner castle towers. The highest tower is the French Tower, which is 47.50 m above sea level. Other towers are the Italian Tower, the German Tower, the Serpent Tower and the English Tower.

The parts of the castle other than the eastern wall were reinforced as double body walls. The citadel is reached getting through 7 gates. There are coats of arms on the doors. There are crosses, plain or horizontal bands, dragon and lion figures on the coats of arms. There are 14 cisterns in the inner castle, including the one under the Chapel. Castle blockhouse, water moat between double walls, suspension bridge, control tower, II. Mahmuttuğra the one conspicuous place in the castle.

Bodrum Castle gained an Ottoman character with a bath structure at the end of the 19th century, when the castle was used as a prison.


Museum of Underwater Archeology

Castle of Saint Peter aka Bodrum Castle (Bodrum Kalesi)

The castle is used today as the Underwater Archeology Museum. The works in the museum collections are exhibited in the Turkish Bath, Amphora Exhibition, Eastern Roman Ship, Glass Hall, Glass Shipwreck, Uluburun Shipwreck, Coin and Jewelery Hall, Carian Princess Hall, English Tower, Torture and Massacre Rooms and German Tower. In addition, works are exhibited in open spaces in the castle, which is built on a land of 33.5 decares.

The museum received the "Special Praise" award in the European Museum of the Year Competition in 1995.