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Reading list | Bodrum

With a harbour full of beautiful wood gulets and ketches, and a vibrant summer nighttlife, Bodrum is the capital of Turkey’s holiday industry. As ancient Halicarnassus, it was the  birthplace of the 5th-century BC writer Heroditus, and the Mausoleum of Harlicarnassus, built between 353 and 350 BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – though more can be seen of its treasures at the British Museum. After Charles Newton's expedition to acquire the remains, told by Rupert Scott in Cornucopia 44, precious little remains here but the site does give an idea of the colossal monument that overlooked the city that Maussolleus, a satrap of the Persian empire, had enlarged inside a 7km wall. Some of his mausoleum was plundered for the imposing Crusader castle, which dominates the harbour and today houses an impressive Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

Draped in bougainvillea with an attractive waterfront, the town has retained much of its charm, though some of the traditional style is hidden behind closed doors, and examples have been photographed by Lynn Gilbert featured in Cornucopia's Blog, Inside Story: Bodrum. Sponge diving, on which the town once relied, is told in the Maritime Museum, which also tells the story of Çevat Şakir, who wrote under the name of The Fisherman of Halicarnassus and made the Blue Voyages famous. Fish are on all the menus, espeically in Çarsi Sokat, off the main street, where you select a fish, and tuck into mezzes while it's being cooked. 

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