Castle of St Peter, Bodrum, Turkey

Last Updated on November 14, 2022

Bodrum is a lively city on the Bodrum Peninsula in the province of Muğla (pronounced MOO-la). The medieval Castle of Saint Peter is the town’s must-see sight: you can hardly not see it, as it dominates the waterfront and the bay beyond (map).

The castle actually gave the city its current name. It was formerly known as Petronium (“Peter’s”), which has now become Bodrum (cellar, dungeon) in Turkish. The castle was given tentative status on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016.  

Museum of Underwater Archeology

The Museum of Underwater Archeology houses hundreds of artifacts gathered first by Bodrum’s sponge divers, and later by archeologists. Many of the items that were discovered are on display including tools and goods from shipwrecks spread over 32 centuries—from the 16th century BC to the 16th century AD. Additionally, hundreds of pottery, gold jewelry, ship equipment, and even two of the ships themselves are on display. Furthermore, the rich burial treasure of a noble lady known as the Carian Princess who was buried in the 300s BC. lies here as well. For more visiting information, see the museum’s official site

Castle of Saint Peter

The castle of Saint Peter has four different towers named after the nations that helped construct it including England, France, Italy, and Germany. It has an interesting story dating back to centuries ago. It assumed something of its present shape beginning in 1402, when the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes built it where King Mausolus (377-353 BCE) may once have had his palace, and where later armies, including the Hospitallers, had built smaller fortresses.

In 1402 it was enlarged and strengthened, in part using stone pillaged from the nearby Mausoleum. Each of the order’s linguistic/national groups had its own tower: French, German, English, and Italian. By 1406 the chapel was completed, the English Tower by 1413, and the mighty walls by 1437. After Constantinople fell to the armies of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453, the castle was attacked by the sultan’s armies, yet withstood them as it did again in 1480. Furthermore, in the 1500s it was strengthened with more stones from the Mausoleum which was insufficient to guarantee it against the mighty forces of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. In 1522 the castle fell, the knights departed, and the sultan’s standard flew on the English Tower.

Today, the castle is considered one of Bodrum’s top tourist attractions and is located next to the marina. During the day, you can get great views from afar in Old Town. At night, you’ll get to see the castle light up in the night sky, being one of Bodrum’s most historical landmarks.

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