Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders


A mausoleum is known as a building that is established to place the body of a significant person, but do you know where the world mausoleum came from? The origin of the word Mausoleum lies in the name Mausolus. The earliest mausoleum in the world was established for Mausolus. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is situated in modern-day Turkey. Due to its grandly built structure, the mausoleum is also referred to as one of the ancient seven wonders of the world. Today, the site holds the ruins of the original building. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is an equally important ancient structure like the Egyptian pyramids.

Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders
Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders

What Is The Identity Of Mausolus? 

Mausolus belonged to the Hecatomnid dynasty and was the second ruler of Asia Minor’s Carnia. After his death in 353 BC, his grieving wife Artemisia lI decided to honor him with a large tomb at the city center according to the Greek style of architecture.

Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders
Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders

Design of Halicarnassus, One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

The early 4th century BC Nereid Monument of Lycian Xanthos influenced the structure of this mausoleum. Pytheos and Satyros are the two greek architects who came to Halicarnassus for establishing the mausoleum. The sculptors of Paros, Timotheus, Byraxis, and Leocharis decorated the mausoleum. Hundreds of craftsmen and builders worked day-night in order to build this wonderful structure. The architecture of the mausoleum drew inspirations from Greek, Egyptian, and Lycian styles. 

Archeologists believe that the mausoleum was at the top of a hill from where one can get a full view of the city. At first, a stone platform came up and then, a courtyard surrounding the platform. A staircase would reach the stone platform. Sculptures of gods and goddesses were placed on the outer portions of the courtyard. Besides the usage of brick, the architects also applied white Proconnesian marble in the construction. The use of marble gave the mausoleum a gorgeous look. The 36 iconic Greek columns of the mausoleum add splendor to the whole building.

Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders
Halicarnassus One Of The Ancient Seven Wonders

The Destruction Of The Mausoleum Of Halicarnassus

The Hecatomnid dynasty ended after several decades due to the attack of Alexander the Great. A series of earthquakes during the 13th century brought down the pillars. The basic stone platform used to exist until the early 15th century. However, in the later period of this century and then, in 1522, the Knights of Saint John took the stones from this mausoleum to build walls of the Bodrum Castle. They created the fortification to prevent the Turkish invasions. Today, some greatest sculptures of the mausoleum exist at the British Museum.

The Present Condition Of Halicarnassus, One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

Gradually, the site of the mausoleum started to fade away. It was during the 19th Century when a British historian was successful to identify some parts of the walls, corners, and staircase of the mausoleum. Therefore, the British Museum is preserving some artifacts of the site. The present-day Turkish government is trying to bring back the materials to the country. 

The Danish Halikarnassos Project, in 2017, took the responsibility of restoring this as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Also, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry is trying to create an open-air museum in this ancient historical site.

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