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The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Purpose.

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The purpose for the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was to be a tomb for the famous satrap, governor, Mausolus. It was also a tomb for Artemisia II of Caria (she was the sister and the wife of Mausolus). When Mausolus died, Artemisia decided to build him a great tomb. She died two years later. They were both cremated and placed in urns, in the tomb.

To the left, is Mausolus.

To the right, is Artemisia II of Caria.


The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is located in the city of Bodrum. It is on edge of south-west Turkey. It is also on the shore of the Aegansea.


Artemisia wanted this tomb to be extravagant. She did not care what the costs were. She had Greek sculptors and architects come to build. These builders included Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas, (also was the sculptor for the third building of Temple of Artemis) and Timotheus. There were also hundreds of others helping these well known builders.

the architecture
The Architecture

The whole structure was in a large courtyard. There was a large flat stone with the temple in the center. The total height was 45 meters. On the entrance there was a lion statue on each side. Along the outside there were many statues of gods and goddesses. The tomb was made of marble. On the top section there were 36 tall and thin columns. Behind the columns there was the tomb. There were statues of four large horses pulling a chariot with the images of Mausolus and Artemisia.


An earthquake did a lot of damage to the structure. Then the Knights of St John of Rhodes invaded and they destroyed the rest of the remains. They used the remains to build the Bodrum Castle.

In the photo below, shows the Bodrum Castle that had recycled stones from the Mausoleum.

  • 353 BC – The start of construction, also the death of Mausolus
  • 351 BC – Artemisia died
  • 350 BC – The end of construction
  • 62 BC – Pirates raided the tomb, but it was left undamaged
  • 58 BC – Pirates raided again and the tomb was still in tact
  • 1404 AD – A numerous amount of earthquakes hit and only the bottom of the structure was left
  • 1494 AD - The Knights of St John of Rhodes attacked and took remains. They used these remains in the building of the Bodrum Castle