Bodrum (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbodɾum]) is a district and a port city in Muğla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of Turkey. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and is also the center of the eponymous district. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times and was famous for housing the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century, Bodrum Castle overlooks the harbour and the marina. The castle includes a museum of underwater archaeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year. The city had a population of 36,317 in 2012. It takes 50 minutes via boat to reach Kos from Bodrum, with services running multiple times a day by at least three operators.
In classical antiquity Bodrum was known as Halicarnassus (Ancient Greek: Ἁλικαρνασσός, Turkish: Halikarnas), a major city in ancient Caria. The suffix -ᾱσσός (-assos) of Greek Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός is indicative of a substrate toponym, meaning that an original non-Greek name influenced or established the place's name.
It has been proposed that -καρνᾱσσός (-carnassos) part is cognate with Luwian word "ha+ra/i-na-sà", which means fortress. If so, city's ancient name was probably borrowed from Carian, a Luwic language spoken alongside Greek in Western Anatolia. The Carian name for Halicarnassus has been tentatively identified with ???????????????? ???????????????????????? (alos k̂arnos) in inscriptions.
The modern name Bodrum derives from the town's medieval name Petronium, which has its roots in the Hospitaller Castle of St. Peter (see history).
The Castle of St. Peter, also known as Bodrum Castle, is one of the major attractions on the peninsula. The castle was built by the Knights Hospitaller during 15th century and the walls of fortification contains some pieces of the Mausoleum ruins, as it was used as a source for construction materials. The Castle of Bodrum retains its original design and character of Knights' period and reflects Gothic architecture. It also contains the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, a museum opened by Turkish Government in 1962 for the underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. In 2016 the castle was inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey. The castle is currently under renovation since 2017 and only some parts of it is accessible for touristic purposes.
Built in 4th century BC, ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is also one of the main sights in Bodrum. It was a tomb designed by the Greek architects and built for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and his sister-wife Artemisia II of Caria. The structure was once considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but by the 12th century CE had mostly been destroyed. Today ruins of the tomb attracts both domestic and international tourists. It is planned to turn the ruins into an open-air museum in future years.
Apart from Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, there are also other museums that are located on the peninsula. Zeki Müren Art Museum is a museum dedicated to Turkish classical musician Zeki Müren. After his death, the house in which the artist lived in Bodrum for the last years of his life was transformed into Zeki Müren Art Museum by the order of the Ministry of Culture and was opened to the public on 8 June 2000. Bodrum Maritime Museum is another museum of Bodrum that targets to conduct activities regarding classification, exhibition, restoration, conservation, storage and safekeeping of the historical documents, works and objects important for the maritime history of the city. Bodrum City Museum is a minor museum in city center that presents the general history of Bodrum peninsula.