Thick walls of Bodrum Castle surrounds one of the most important museums of its kind; Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
The most popular museum in town has become the symbol of Bodrum with its unique collection containing artefacts from Bronze Age to Medieval Times and the incredible construction where they are exhibited; Castle of St. Peter.
There is no doubt that the historical value of the castle itself increases Bodrum Museum’s significance while offering a great panoramic view through Greek islands behind Aegean waters.
The museum is inside the castle so you can enjoy the best of both worlds at once. However, their stories behind the scenes are quite different. Since this internet site is all about the stories, I chose to focus them separately.
You can proceed by clicking Bodrum Castle to learn about Castle of St. Peter. You can also click on History of Bodrum Castle to discover tough times it went through during last 600 years. For Museum of Underwater Archaeology, just keep on reading.
I think it is a privilege to be able to see 3,200 years old artefacts from the depths of the Aegean Sea which are on exhibition in a 600 years old building that is made up of 2,500 years old archaeological fragments and blocks from Mausoleum at Halicarnassus which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Underwater Archaeology Museum was established in 1964. I believe it was a visionary move. Considering underwater archaeology was solely accepted in late 80’s as an archaeology branch, founding such a museum in a remote town at a country where museology was crawling should be a success story and can only be explained by passion.
Random events and coincidences were about to change the way Bodrum lives. A sponge diver found a bronze statue of a woman in the deep waters of Marmaris in 1953. It was Demeter, the goddess of the harvest in ancient Greek religion. That’s when Bodrum took world-wide attention and the History of Museum of Underwater Archaeology has begun to be written.
Since then, many things happened. The museum evolved and extended its collection. The castle was restored and almost each building was assigned to a specific collection forming different sections of Bodrum Museum today.
The entrance fee is approximately €10 per person. It is the most expensive museum around the peninsula but I think it worth every penny.
After the entrance, on your way to inner court up in the main area, you can rent an audio guide which provides Turkish, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish guidance on the museum sections. Rental cost is around €3. You may check Bodrum Castle Plan for the exact location of the kiosk prior to your visit but you can’t miss it.
Bodrum Castle stands on a nearly square area which measures 185 by 180 metres. It may look small but don’t underestimate it. If you want to visit all sections and enjoy the panorama it offers, I’d say you need at least 2 hours, 3 hours is much better. So adjust your plan accordingly and avoid visiting it near closing time.
Especially in summers, always keep in mind that it is hot out there and don’t forget to bring a bottle of water and a hat with you to fight back the sun. Two cafés, one at the upper yard inside the castle and the other at the entrance are the only places where you can find refreshments.
You are going to walk from one section to another. Stairs and slopes can sometimes make it difficult. Take your time, sit on a bench and take a rest. There is no need to be in hurry.
A small shop at the entrance is a fair place where you can find some gifts for your friends and family. You can also find some books and guides about the history of the region and Turkey as well.
I have seen many times that some specific sections of Museum of Underwater Archaeology were closed due to repairs, renewals or scientific studies. Strange but these things can happen so if you want to see a certain section, ask the employees at the entrance to learn if it is open or not at the moment, just before paying the entrance fee.
Don’t forget your camera, not only for Underwater Archaeology Museum but also for the great panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and Bodrum town over the walls. The use of cameras is prohibited in some sections of Bodrum Museum, so simply follow the signs in the halls.
One last recommendation, if you have enough time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Bodrum Castle, bring your book with you. Sit on a wall facing to Aegean horizon or find a bench at the inner yard where peacocks wandering around and read your book. I like to spend some time by myself there, it is priceless!
§ Museum of Underwater Archaeology (this is where you are)