Where was the mausoleum of Halicarnassus?
The mausoleum was in the ancient city of Halicarnassus, nowadays Bodrum, a seaside resort on the Aegean. The archaeological excavations at the end of the 19th century have made it possible to locate it precisely, the ruins lie to the north of the port, in the middle of the city. Nowadays they are visitable, it is also one of the tourist attractions of the city.
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Can we visit it?
Yes, quite, the site of the mausoleum is visitable. This is even one of Bodrum's tourist attractions. On the other hand, it is quite far from the big tourist structures, here it is relatively small and there is little to see. The site itself is littered with pieces of broken columns, and there are some rooms where one can see the pieces of the mausoleum still on the spot. There is also a film presenting the site and reconstructing the monument. Unfortunately, the finest pieces are exhibited at the British Museum in London, and it was this museum that funded excavations in the 19th century.
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How was the mausoleum?
It was rather large, it was a monolithic block of 38.4m by 32.5m by 53m high, divided into 3 parts: A large room downstairs, a colonnade going around the monument on the floor, and a roof to degree above. It was in the center of a large rectangular courtyard.
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For whom was it built?
Simply for King Mausole. Mausole was king of Caria, an area of the Turkish coast, formerly under Persian rule but so remote that it was relatively autonomous. Married to Artemis II (Nothing to do with the temple of Artemis), it was she who had her tomb built in her capital, Halicarnassus, now Bodrum. This funerary monument was so beautiful that not only was it incorporated in the list of the 7 wonders of the world but that this type of monument took its name: a mausoleum.
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