Being one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum is the monumental tomb of the King Mausolos of Caria. Having been started to be built by the King Mausolos, the Satrap of Caria under Persian dominion during his lifetime, the construction of Mausoleum was continued after Mausolos’ death by his wife and sister Artemisia. Therefore it is named after King Mausolos.
Being one of the most significant rulers of his age, Mausolos decided to build this monumental tomb to immortalize himself through this venture. This monumental tomb in the heart of Halicarnassus , of which construction continued by his sister-wife Queen Artemisia II. for King Mausolos is a unique wonder structure of that time.The Structure survived for centuries; but much of the structure was destroyed by the Anatolia earthquake on August 8, 1304. Afterwards, the stones of what existed of the structure was taken away to build and fortify St Peter's Castle (later Bodrum castle). Moreover in 1857, the remaining relief sculptures and statues of the tomb were transported by British archaeologists to the British Museum.
For this unique structure built with an extraordinary architecture that challenged the architectural styles of its time, The Fisherman of Halicarnassus (Halikarnas Balıkçısı) had written the following about the Mausoleum’s architecture with his own wording: “Think once! Kicking aside all tradition and doing a completely new thing… It would drive someone insane! Just thinking about this challenge, a trumpet and drum thrill me.”.
Having been considered as one of the seven wonders of the world, the Mausoleum was a gigantic tomb, which combined Greek architecture with its columns and Egyptian architecture with its pyramid-shaped roof. Because of this significance of the Mausoleum, all structures in the same architectural style that built after it were called mausoleums. This open-air museum is an important resource to understand the culture and life of those days.
Ancient writers wrote that the structure’s architecture was also the architect of the Temple of Athena, Pytheos. Vitrivius had said that the most important sculptors of their time such as Bryaxis, Timotheos, Leochares and Skopas had worked in the construction of this structure in 4. century B.C.. Being originally from Karya, Bryaxis had made the statues of Mausolos and Artemisia riding the four-horse chariot at the very top of the mausoleum.
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