Mausoleum of Mausolus - History and Facts | History Hit

Mausoleum of Mausolus

Bodrum, Aegean Region, Turkey

The Mausoleum of Mausolus was one of the most impressive tombs of its time, but has since been entirely destroyed.

Peta Stamper

28 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Mausoleum of Mausolus

Around 45 metres in height and adorned with sculptural reliefs, the Mausoleum of Mausolus, also called the Mausoleion, was once the magnificent tomb of the Caria ruler and eldest son of Hecatomnus, Mausolus.

History of The Mausoleum of Mausolus

Built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus, which is now modern day Bodrum in Turkey, the Mausoleum of Mausolus was such an impressive structure that the word “mausoleum” is derived from its occupant’s name and is now used to describe most large, above-ground tombs. The mausoleum was also considered one of Pliny’s Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Mausolus was a native Anatolian from Caria and a provincial governor within the Achaemenid Empire. The tomb was for himself and his sister-wife, Artemisia II of Caria, who was a commander and her brother’s successor. Their mausoleum was built inspired by tombs from Lycia, a territory Mausolus had invaded around 360 BC.

The Mausoleum of Mausolus Today

Unfortunately, the Mausoleum of Mausolus was almost entirely destroyed by tomb robbers and earthquakes between the 12th and 15th centuries, leaving visitors today without any particular sense of its former grandeur.

The Mausoleum of Mausolus does contain some exhibits however, such as a model of the mausoleum, but most of the structure itself is long gone. A trip to the Mausoleum of Mausolus usually accompanies one to Bodrum Castle, which houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

Getting to The Mausoleum of Mausolus

Located beside Bodrum’s harbour, the Mausoleum of Mausolus is easily found when exploring the city on foot. Otherwise, the ferry from Symi and Rhodes stops just a 10 minute walk away at the harbour and for those driving there is car parking at Batuhan Otopark, 3 minutes away.