Bodrum Maritime Museum, Part I

The article about Bodrum Maritime Museum consists of two parts. Part I, which you are reading right now, includes general information about the museum. The second part includes details about the museum sections and the collection.

Turkey is a gigantic archaeologic site which witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of civilizations which shaped the future of the humankind. Lydians invented the money, for example. Sumerians, Phrygians, Urartians, Assyrians, Teucrians, Carians, Seljuks and many more lived here and became a part of Anatolian legacy. My personal favourite is Hitites because they have invented the beer!

Bodrum Maritime Museum Entrance
Bodrum Maritime Museum Entrance

Among all the powerful civilizations in our legacy, we somehow tend to push the local histories into the background. However, there is a special museum telling us about the recent history of Bodrum, just a few hundred meters away from the Bodrum Castle: Bodrum Maritime Museum.

Address: Carsi Mh. Nazim Hikmet Sokak, No: 4/1 48400 Bodrum / Mugla
Phone: +90 (252) 316 33 10
Bodrum Maritime Museum Official Web Site (in English)
Working Hours:
Summer (May 1st – October 31st): 10:00 – 17:00, closed on Mondays
Winter (November 1st – April 30th): 09:30 – 17: 30, closed on Mondays

Bodrum was a small fishing town until the tourism arrived. The economy was depended on fishing, sponge diving and fruit growing. Bodrum Maritime Museum is a tribute to Bodrumians who have spent their lives by the sea to make a living.

The museum has three main sections. The large-scale wooden models of the famous fishing boats that was used in Bodrum are in exhibition at the main lobby and some other parts of the museum.

Museum hall
Museum hall

At the second floor, one of the largest seashell collections of the world, Hasan Gulesci collection, can be visited.

Finally, some personal items of Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, a.k.a. The Fisherman of Halicarnassus can be seen on the ground floor.

The Foundation of Bodrum Maritime Museum

Bodrum is one of the most important seafaring and ship building locations of Turkey with thousands of boats in its harbours and marinas, tens of internationally recognized shipyards. It is also where world-famous Blue Voyage was born.

Although the recent researches showed that the history of seafaring in and around Bodrum goes back to the Bronze Age, it is not clear when boatbuilding has started. Many ancient historians think that it should have started around 3,000 BC during the age of Leleges who are also known as the first habitants of the region. Leleges were highly involved in piracy so the historians assume that they had to have boatbuilding technology.

Bodrum Maritime Museum Ground Floor
Bodrum Maritime Museum Ground Floor

Before becoming a popular tourism destination, main sources of income of the Bodrum Peninsula were fishing and sponge diving. Sponge diving is a kind of history now, but you can still meet the former spongers and listen their stories about “sponge hunt” without using any diving equipment.

The relationship between the Aegean Sea and the Bodrumians is still vital. Being a fisherman still is handed down from father to son. It is a family tradition. Some families, on the other hand, had invested in tourism industry and got into yachting and charter business. Do not be surprised if you see a million-dollar gullet owner still working as the captain in blue voyages.

In a town where the culture has been shaped by the sea, there should have been a museum to reflect the recent maritime history. Bodrum Municipality, Bodrum Chamber of Commerce and Mr.Ali Kemal Denizaslani had worked hard and opened Bodrum Maritime Museum in 2011 by receiving support from Special Provincial Administration of Mugla Governorship, IMEAK Chamber of Shipping Bodrum Branch, Mariners Association, OASIS Shopping Centre and Mr.Hasan Gulesci.

After visiting The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Bodrum Maritime Museum is worth to stop by. I strongly recommend it.

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Enjoy Bodrum

I am Akinsal and I am here to guide you on your search for finding your own Bodrum.