During your stay at Faros Hotel Bodrum you can visit: The Ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Bodrum Turkey
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus[a] (Ancient Greek: Μαυσωλεῖον τῆς Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ; Turkish: Halikarnas Mozolesi) was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC in Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a native Anatolian from Caria and a satrap in the Achaemenid Empire, and his sister-wife Artemisia II of Caria. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. Its elevated tomb structure is derived from the tombs of neighbouring Lycia, a territory Mausolus had invaded and annexed circa 360 BC, such as the Nereid Monument.
The Mausoleum was approximately 45 m (148 ft) in height,
and the four sides were adorned with sculptural reliefs, each created by one of four Greek sculptors: Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros, and Timotheus. The mausoleum was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed by successive earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century, the last surviving of the six destroyed wonders.
The word mausoleum has now come to be used generically for an above-ground tomb.
In the 4th century BC, Halicarnassus was the capital of a small regional kingdom of Caria within the Achaemenid Empire on the western coast of Asia Minor.
In 377 BC, the nominal ruler of the region, Hecatomnus of Milas, died and left the control of the kingdom to his son, Mausolus. Hecatomnus, a local dynast under the Persians, took control of several of the neighboring cities and districts. After Artemisia and Mausolus, he had several other daughters and sons: Ada (adoptive mother of Alexander the Great), Idrieus and Pixodarus. Mausolus extended his territory as far as the southwest coast of Anatolia, invading in particular the territory of Lycia, remarkable for its numerous monumental tombs such as the Tombs of Xanthos, from which he took his inspiration for his mausoleum.
Artemisia and Mausolus ruled from Halicarnassus over the surrounding territory for 24 years. Mausolus, although descended from local people, spoke Greek and admired the Greek way of life and government. He founded many cities of Greek design along the coast and encouraged Greek democratic traditions.
It is likely that Mausolus started to plan the tomb before his death, as part of the building works in Halicarnassus, so that when he died, Artemisia continued the building project. Artemisia spared no expense in building the tomb. She sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time. These included Scopas, the man who had supervised the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. The famous sculptors were (in the Vitruvius order): Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas, and Timotheus, as well as hundreds of other craftsmen.
The tomb was erected on a hill overlooking the city. The whole structure sat in an enclosed courtyard. At the center of the courtyard was a stone platform on which the tomb sat. A stairway flanked by stone lions led to the top of the platform, which bore along its outer walls many statues of gods and goddesses. At each corner, stone warriors mounted on horseback guarded the tomb. At the center of the platform, the marble tomb rose as a square tapering block to one-third of the Mausoleum’s 45 m (148 ft) height. This section was covered with bas-reliefs showing action scenes, including the battle of the centaurs with the lapiths and Greeks in combat with the Amazons, a race of warrior women.
On the top of this section of the tomb thirty-six slim columns, ten per side, with each corner sharing one column between two sides; rose for another third of the height. Standing between each pair of columns was a statue. Behind the columns was a solid cella-like block that carried the weight of the tomb’s massive roof. The roof, which comprised most of the final third of the height, was pyramidal. Perched on the top was a quadriga: four massive horses pulling a chariot in which rode images of Mausolus and Artemisia.
Modern historians have pointed out that two years would not be enough time to decorate and build such an extravagant building. Therefore, it is believed that construction was begun by Mausolus before his death or continued by the next leaders. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus resembled a temple and the only way to tell the difference was its slightly higher outer walls. The Mausoleum was in the Greek-dominated area of Halicarnassus, which in 353 was controlled by the Achaemenid Empire. According to the Roman architect Vitruvius, it was built by Satyros and Pytheus who wrote a treatise about it; this treatise is now lost. Pausanias adds that the Romans considered the Mausoleum one of the great wonders of the world and it was for that reason that they called all their magnificent tombs mausolea, after it.
Relief of an Amazonomachy from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
It is unknown exactly when and how the Mausoleum came to ruin: Eustathius, writing in the 12th century on his commentary of the Iliad, says “it was and is a wonder". Because of this, Fergusson concluded that the building was ruined, probably by an earthquake, between this period and 1402, when the Knights of St John of Jerusalem arrived and recorded that it was in ruins. However, Luttrell notes that at that time the local Greek and Turks had no name for – or legends to account for – the colossal ruins, suggesting a destruction at a much earlier period.
Many of the stones from the ruins were used by the knights to fortify their castle at Bodrum; they also recovered bas-reliefs with which they decorated the new building. Much of the marble was burned into lime. In 1846 Lord Stratford de Redcliffe obtained permission to remove these reliefs from the Bodrum.
At the original site, all that remained by the 19th century were the foundations and some broken sculptures. This site was originally indicated by Professor Donaldson and was discovered definitively by Charles Newton, after which an expedition was sent by the British government. The expedition lasted three years and ended in the sending of the remaining marbles. At some point before or after this, grave robbers broke into and destroyed the underground burial chamber, but in 1972 there was still enough of it remaining to determine a layout of the chambers when they were excavated.
This monument was ranked the seventh wonder of the world by the ancients, not because of its size or strength but because of the beauty of its design and how it was decorated with sculpture or ornaments. The mausoleum was Halicarnassus’ principal architectural monument, standing in a dominant position on rising ground above the harbor.
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