A THEATER WITH PARADISIACAL VIEWS
There is no doubt that Bodrum is located in one of the most beautiful places on the Turkish coast in the Aegean Sea, and that the classical Greeks and Romans knew how to choose the best locations for their theaters.
The theater of Bodrum, or rather, the theater of ancient Halicarnassus was built by Mausolus, the same character for whom his wife ordered the construction of the famous Mausoleum after his death, and which would become one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Mausolus, king of Caria and satrap of the Persian Empire, ordered to build of this city of Halicarnassus and in turn this formidable theater within it, in the middle of the classical Greek period, with a fully Greek style, back in the first half of the fourth century BC.
Already in our era, during the second century, the Romans reached this city during the conquest of Caria, partially destroying the theater during the fights that took place to take the city. However, after their victory in Asian lands, the Romans rebuilt this place almost from the base, being the current theater the expression that the transalpine gave to this beautiful place.
The structure of the theater does not differ much from other similar ones that the Romans built or rebuilt at the same time, having three main parts:
The Skene, which in ancient Greek is the platform next to the Orchesta, is a word that gave origin to our stage and orchestra. The actors were placed on it.
In the Orchesta itself, the choirs sing, and it is semicircular.
The Koilon or Cavea was all the larger part, formed by the seats for the spectators.
The capacity of the theater was large for its time, and up to thirteen thousand people could attend the shows, being some of the seats in the semicircle for spectators were reserved for some special ones, for which their name was written on them.
Today the theater of Halicarnassus or Bodrum is still used to hold shows, especially in the summer months, taking great importance in September. Its current capacity is about 4000 people.
The excavations to prepare it for its current use were completed in 1973, and it was declared an open-air museum.
Once inside, in addition to enjoying its wonderful architecture, we must climb to the upper tiers from which we can enjoy unbeatable views of the city of Bodrum where the port, its marine beaches, the castle, as well as the entire city are surrounded by hills and the beautiful blue Aegean Sea will stand out.
The theater of Halicarnassus is located on the road between Bodrum and Gumbert, in the ancient city of Halicarnassus.
Yeniköy, Kibris Sehitleri Cd, 4800 Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey.
Just be careful when crossing the road because of traffic.
Access to the theater is free of charge.
MEZZÉS, THE MOST MEDITERRANEAN APPETIZER.
Bodrum has a Mediterranean cuisine that is healthy, as long as we do not abuse too much of its famous sweets.
The dishes made here have many locally sourced vegetables, some of which such as chicory, bull mallow and radish leaves are wild. In fact it is not uncommon in Turkey to see women especially gathering herbs in the fields to cook them later, a good supply of minerals for the table, at zero economic cost.
The salads are excellent, with gypsy salad, purslane salad with yogurt and bitter orange salad for example. Other typical vegetable preparations are okras in olive oil and Ot Kavurmasi (roasted spicy herb).
Olive oil, as in every Mediterranean country, is also used generously in the preparation of many dishes. Meat and fish from the area, fried or grilled, are added to the vegetables to prepare excellent dishes that you can taste in the many restaurants in the city, both on the coastal and inland, and you can find very romantic places with excellent views if you are looking for a beautiful and quiet place with good company.
But as it is all about snacking in this section, the best thing you can order is the mezze. The mezze is a combination of dishes that are generally served cold and in small proportions and are very typical in the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean in general, as we find them here in Turkey, but also in other countries such as Greece, Syria and Lebanon. They are usually made up of many vegetables, cereals and legumes, sometimes in a solid puree state. Chickpeas to make the famous Hummus, sometimes with sesame, eggplant for Baba ganush, chopped cucumbers in pickled sauce or with yogurt, stuffed vine leaves, stuffed squash blossoms, beans with tomato and olive oil, octopus salad, feta cheese, are just some of the many ideas that you can find in this symphony of flavors and colors that are the mezze. They are usually taken as an appetizer and are sometimes accompanied by the famous raki, which is a local spirit that can be reminiscent of Spanish orujo or Italian grappa in its driest state, or be flavored with anise seeds, and sometimes have a sweet taste like Greek ouzo or French pastis. Turks usually add water to it, changing its transparent tone to a milky one, reminiscent of the Spanish "palomita" made with aniseed.
Mezze is usually eaten as an appetizer, before a meal, but it can also be a real meal in itself, especially if the heat is on and you want something fresh and light.
The entire coastal part of the city is lined with restaurants and cafes, especially around the main port and marina, as well as in the various hotels and resorts in and around the city.
MARKETS, STORES AND BAZAARS
Bodrum is a city that has many shopping malls and colorful markets.
If you are looking for a modern shopping center where you can find a little bit of everything, we recommend the Oasis center, opened in 1998, is the largest in Bodrum with 25000 square meters.
There you can find more than 200 stores of all kinds as well as 5 cinemas, and several restaurants and cafes. That is to say, a modern center like those that we can find a little bit in all the more or less big cities around the world, but being in Turkey offers you the possibility of finding popular Turkish brands that are not so well known in the rest of the world but that offer great quality and often at lower prices than other more famous international ones. Also here you can find entertainment such as acrobats, fakirs and clowns.
If you prefer to buy from a more classical firm we recommend Atatürk Avenue where you will find many stores with a variety of products and for all kinds of pockets, from luxury boutiques, international brand stores to gift stores and souvenirs such as seashells, pearls or leather goods.
The Central Market is a popular and excellent place where you will also find all kinds of goods, but you can also enjoy the colorful local fruits and vegetables. It is an ideal place to find local handicrafts as well as Turkish food delicacies, spices and perfumes. You will be surprised by the colorful fabrics on display. The offer of costume jewelry, cosmetics, leather, jewelry and carpets will ensure that you will not get bored.
Other places where you can shop are Barlar Sogeki Street if you are looking for jewelry. It has many stores with various accessories. There you can also find handmade shoes and textiles from the region.
Cumhuriyet, Gümbet Mahallesi Emin Altar Bulvan, Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Sk. no.: 208, 48400 Bodrum,
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Central Market: Çarsi Kulku Sk. No: 49, 48400 Bodrum, Turkey.
Open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
About 10 minutes walk from the castle up Cevat Sakir Cd.
Atatürk Avenue: Parallel to the main beach of Bodrum, only about 2 minutes walk from it.
WHAT A FORTRESS WITH A VIEW
Undoubtedly, the most outstanding monument still standing today in Bodrum, is the castle of St. Peter, an ideal place that you will have to photograph from many angles as it is the true symbol of the city today.
The Castle of St. Peter of Bodrum was built by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem in the 15th century. To do so, they did not hesitate to facilitate the procurement of materials by taking some of the blocks of stone from the already ruined famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the tomb that Artemis, wife of Mausolus, the Persian satrap of the province of Caria, had built as a tomb for her deceased husband. This mausoleum had already suffered the vicissitudes of time after the various invasions that the city experienced since the fourth century BC when it was built. Even so, the worst was the earthquake that occurred in the fourteenth century that ended up demolishing it, with which, the Knights Hospitaller saw an excellent quarry to take some of the materials of their own fortress.
When the Ottomans under Soleiman the Magnificent conquered the city and the castle, they used again the materials that were still left where the famous tomb of Mausolus once stood for the repairs of the fortress. The Knights had to leave for the island of Malta from which they would later take a new name.
The castle, very well preserved, is one of the most important fortresses of the Mediterranean Sea.
Inside the castle there is an excellent Museum of Underwater Archaeology that gathers since 1962 remains cataloged by the Turkish government in various shipwrecks that took place in the Aegean Sea, being able to see amphorae, glass, metal items and many other objects of interest. Much of these objects were recovered by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology of mechanical, Roman, Greek and Ottoman ships of various eras.
Also in one of the towers of the castle, the so-called Italian Tower, you can enjoy a valuable collection of coins from many eras as well. Also in another room, we find the tomb of a Carian princess found in this place.
Of particular note is the collection of antique glass, considered one of the best in the world.
The castle has beautiful gardens for strolling, with trees and varied plants of the Mediterranean coasts.
The whole castle is unbeatable to make forums, but undoubtedly, the most colorful can be made from the top of its towers from where you can see the entire city of Bodrum and the coast around it.
The entrance is next to Bodrum harbor.
Visiting hours are every day of the week. From 8.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from March to October, and from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from November to February, admission is only available until half an hour before closing time.
Price: 65 Turkish lira, or about 8 euros.
THE LOST MAUSOLEUM
Bodrum, before being Bodrum was Halicarnassus where around 350 BC, Artemis, the widow of the powerful satrap Mausolus, governor of the province of Caria under the command of the king of Persia, had a mausoleum built for her husband that was the astonishment of Greeks, Romans and all peoples who looked out to see its grandeur, its majesty and its enormous beauty. Such was its beauty that the current word mausoleum comes from this monument. Unfortunately, and after various historical vicissitudes such as the destruction of the city by Alexander the Great, the barbarian tribes and the Arabs, almost 2000 years after its construction the monument finally succumbed to an earthquake in the fourteenth century, being most of its remains recycled later for the construction of the imposing castle that we can visit today in this same city.
When the mausoleum was erected, it was 46 meters high, about the same height as a 15-story building, which was colossal for those times when most ordinary people lived in small one-story houses. No wonder it was considered a true prodigy at the time of its construction and was chosen to be part of the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
For its location was chosen the highest hill of ancient Halicarnassus, erected on a square base on a second level on which were placed about 444 sculptures of the gods, and friezes and scenes of the fight of Centaurs and Amazons in the friezes.
At the top of the building, a quadriga crowned the whole, with Mausolus himself and Artemis riding on it. Undoubtedly a true marvel.
Marble, a noble stone that shines under the sun, was used for its construction, and its architects were Satyrus and Pytheos.
Little is left of this marvel today after so much destruction, theft, looting and recycling throughout history, but it is interesting to go to the site and feel what must have been this grandiose and above all beautiful monument, walking among the few stones that remain scattered there. There are also replicas of some sculptures and you can see the drainage system. There is also a room where you can see a documentary to see what it was like and get a true idea.
There is a small store and restrooms.
As a curious fact, we will tell you that the few sculptures that survived are today in the British Museum in London and that it was the archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton who rescued them following the instructions left by Vitruvius and some other professor who had found remains of columns in the area, becoming the first to find the exact place where the mausoleum had been and that had been forgotten over time and was full of houses built on its remains.
Directions: The ruins of the Mausoleum are located in the center of the city of Bodrum, on a hill, approximately one kilometer from the port. To get there just take the main artery that divides the city in two.
Price: 17 Turkish Liras for adults and about 10 for children.
Tepecik, Turgut Reis Cd. No: 93, 48440 Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey.
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tel: +90 252 316 12 19
A GAME OF BACKGAMMON?
In this tip we are going to ask you to be brave and dare to enter fully into the life of the Turkish people, an action that will earn you the appreciation and affection of a people who will be honored to see that you want to interact with them in one of the oldest ways known to mankind to relationships between people in a playful and relaxed way: The game.
Backgammon is an ancient game. It is a game for two people that consists of a pair of wooden boards with checkers in which you generally have to remove your checkers from the board before your opponent. To do this, each player will use a pair of dice of different colors than the other, which will decide their moves, and another larger die for betting. But do not think that everything is left to chance because it is a game of strategy in which you have to use your head if you want to win. The duration of a normal game ranges from 5 to 30 minutes depending on your skills.
Backgammon was born in ancient Mesopotamia, so it is a game whose antecedents have been played for a whopping 5000 years already, and is considered the oldest dice game in the world.
From Iraq, it went to Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Persia, Jordan, and the whole Arab world. The game
evolved and reached Greece, Rome and Byzantium, and from there to Turkey. In Europe, it was played as early as the Middle Ages.
The rules of this game are simple and very easy to learn. It will take you a short time to do it if you have never played before. As we said before, you have to free your pieces from the board before your opponent without leaving any of your pieces stranded.
The pieces move from left to right on the lower board and the other way around on the upper board.
This game is typical in Turkey, and in Bodrum you will see people playing it mainly in the cafes and at tables provisionally set up anywhere in a street, and usually, while two people play many others will participate in watching the game. The main bazaar in the center of the city is an excellent place and easy to access, also there they are used to see the passage of tourists. They will still be surprised if you dare to ask them to teach you if you do not know the rules of the game, or directly ask you to participate in a game if you already know it. You may feel shy to do so, or you may simply think that the language difference will make communication impossible. But if you try, you will be surprised how easy it is to communicate with gestures in a situation that will unite you with the local spirit in this playful and cheerful way. Everyone will be open and willing to understand, help and explain. We all like to communicate with those who come from far away and peacefully share new ideas. That is the challenge we propose you, to dare to mingle with the local people to share a strategy game as old as history, being relaxed and joyful combat that does not bring harmful effects such as wars or side effects if not sharing a tea or a water pipe with the locals.
Do you dare?
Directions: Central bazaar, or any cafe where this game is played.
THE MILITARY-RELIGIOUS NATO OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
Today we are all familiar with NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which unites several Western nations to create an international defense system against any possible threat to any of their countries. The truth is that throughout history there have always been alliances between cities, territories and nations seeking security or common good.
The Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, or simply the Order of the Knights Hospitaller or Order of St. John, was founded as a charity and aid, mainly to pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. But later it would become an armed corps.
It all began around 1084 when merchants from Amalfi, a city and seafaring republic in southern Italy, founded a hospital to help pilgrims next to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, making St. John the Baptist their patron saint from which the original name was derived: Order of St. John of the Hospital of Jerusalem.
The Crusaders conquered this city in 1099, whereupon its first master, Gerard de Saint Genis, a Provençal, extended the order to all of Palestine, Syria and Europe to help all pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The members of the order took the rule of St. Augustine and the white eight-pointed cross. From then on, it became an international military force against Islam.
Conquered Jerusalem by Saladin, they continued fighting in Palestine based in the fortress of Crac of the Knights, today in Syria. Defeated in 1291 by Sultan Melek, the knights went to Cyprus. Almost unsuccessful were their next struggles to take Palestine, and the order went on to establish itself on the island of Rhodes, its members beginning to be called Knights of Rhodes.
With the dissolution of the Order of the Knights Templar, much of the wealth of these passed to the Hospitallers, this being the time when the order, rich and opulent, was organized by nations or languages. There were eight languages, each with its administrator and supreme dignities. The grandmaster could belong to any of the languages. These were: Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Crown of Aragon and Navarre, Castile-Leon-Portugal, Germany and England.
Having also lost Rhodes, they passed through various places in Italy and France until Emperor Charles V granted them the Island of Malta as their headquarters in 1530. It is here when the order will begin to be called the Order of Malta, undertaking strong naval battles against the Turks, such as the Battle of Lepanto.
In the end, the French Republic after the fall of the monarchy of Louis XVI expelled them from Malta in 1798, and Napoleon Bonaparte took possession of the island.
The grandmaster and some followers left for Trieste. After the assassination of the leader, it was Pope Pius VII who took over the protection of the order, moving the residence of the grandmaster to Catania in Sicily.
In 1845 the order could be considered dead since each nation had its own order. Today, its successor, the Sovereign Order of Malta has its headquarters in Rome on the Aventine Hill. Its full name is Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
From 1188, the original order had a female branch of contemplative nuns, the Commanders of St. John of Jerusalem, with the first monastery in Santa Maria de Sigena.
In addition to all this, what nobody will tell you is that in the famous Bodrum Castle, the main monumental attraction of the Turkish city, when it was Christian and belonged to the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, each national group had its own tower in the castle where they met. Thus today the towers are still known by the nationalities of each group, with the Spanish, French, Italian, German and English towers. These towers in turn have other nicknames such as the Serpent, the Embroidered, Relief, Strong, and Lion. In addition, we have two minor towers dedicated to the masters who ordered their construction already at the dawn of the Ottoman attack that would end the dominance of Christians in Bodrum and neighboring Smyrna.
MOSQUES, CHURCH IN RUINS AND ZEKI MUREN MUSEUM
Let´s go for a walk in the center of Bodrum.
We will start next to the castle specifically behind it, very close to the main port where ferries depart to the Greek islands and the bazaars of the center. This is the Kiziljisarli Mustafa Pasha Mosque, a historic mosque that has endured many vicissitudes throughout its existence. It was built by Captain Derya Kizilcöylü Mustafa Pasha between 1720 and 1724, making it the oldest in Bodrum. The marble columns and pulpit are preserved and it has a minaret over the courtyard. An inscription on the door gives information about its construction. It is a place of peace and tranquility to escape from the hustle and bustle.
From there we will go into the market to reach Aya Nicola Kilisesi, that is, what remains of the old church of St. Nicholas, who is none other than Santa Claus or Santa Claus. These ruins are in the center of the market in the middle of the old town and are an interesting meeting point for painters.
Only four walls remain of the original church. Within the historical clashes between Turks and Greeks, it is said that because the Turks let this church collapse, they closed the mosque on the neighboring Greek island of Kos. The church was used as a public education center.
From there you can take Cumhuriyet Cadesi, or Cumhuriyet Street and follow it for about 15 minutes of quiet walk past various stores and restaurants, and always with the beach about 20 meters on your right. At the end of the street, when the continuation of the street is renamed Pasatarlasi Sk. you will have to leave it and turn left onto Zeki Müren Cd. and follow it for about 50 meters to have the Museum of Arts and Customs on your left. This museum is located in the former Greek-style house of the famous Turkish musician Zeki Müren, one of the great names in Turkish music who combined Turkish classical style with a contemporary song (1931-1996). The house was the artist´s residence during his trips to Bodrum and today it is a museum where you can see photographs, clothes, advertising posters and utensils used by the artist who donated everything to the Mehmetçik Foundation. You can even see his bed and car as well as a statue of the artist.
The return to the castle area can be done by the same street we came to or if you have time, better taking the Atatürk Cd. which is parallel and goes about 80 meters from Cumhuriyet. To get there it is best to continue to the end of Zeki Müren street to the same Ataturk and turn left. Here you will find all kinds of stores. At the end of this street, we will turn left to Cevat Sakir Cd. which will take us to the Merkez Adliye Mosque which is the mosque of the Palace of Justice and is next to the port. Calculate about 25 minutes to return from the museum without stops if you take Ataturk Street.
Kizilhisarli Mustafa Pasha Mosque: Çarsi, 48400 Bodrum/ Mugla, Turkey.
Aya Nikola Kilisesi: Çarsi, Dr. AlimBey Cd 48400 Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey
Zeki Muren Art Museum (Zeki Müren Sanat Müzesi): Kumbahçe, Zeki Müren Cd. No 11
LET´S GO TO THE BEACH! OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH!!!!
In Bodrum, the best place to watch life go by is undoubtedly sitting in one of the many cafes on the terraces of Kumbahçe beach.
This is one of the several beaches of the city, and although it can have many bathers, especially in the summer months, it is not as crowded as others in Bodrum and has the advantage that the sea is usually quite clean, although sometimes you can find some debris thrown from a boat. The beach is not sandy but small pebbles that can be more annoying when walking on it but have the advantage of being cleaner for the feet. If what you want is to take a bath, you have to go a little further out to be covered by the water and the sea is generally calm if there is no strong wind blowing.
This beach also has free umbrellas, although the use of the hammocks is conditioned to consume something in one of the cafes or restaurants located in front of the beach.
And as it is about making a stop to the continuous hustle and bustle of every tourist, whether you decide to swim for a change of environment for a while as if your thing is to sit quietly for a coffee or a cool beer when the sun is hot, this place will be ideal to escape a little, while you can enjoy the passage of all kinds of characters both locals and tourists who also come to enjoy and relax in such a playful place. From a beautiful Nordic tourist or a beautiful Central European tourist, to a family with several children making a fuss, I assure you that you will not get bored while you rest lying in the sun or under the pleasant shade of the porch of one of its cafes enjoying a drink, and of course, also a snack or a more complete meal if it is time to eat something and the hunger is getting stronger.
Something nice, besides the view of the emerald turquoise blue sea and the accompanying boats, will be the view of the castle on our right as we look out to sea, the real monumental center of the city of Bodrum.
Address: Pasatariasi Sk. No 7, 48400 Bodrum/ Mugla, Turkey.
Some cafes in the area:
Café Karyon: In front of Cumhuriyet number 127
Kumbahçe Belediye Kafe: Kumbahçe Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey.
Gaaveci Bodrum: Kumbahçe, Cumhuriyet Cd. No 145
Wellcome to Europamundo Vacations, your in the international site of:
Bienvenido a Europamundo Vacaciones, está usted en el sitio internacional de: