History of Marmaris

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13.12.2019
History of Marmaris

History of Marmaris

It is not known when Marmaris was founded, but Physkos as Marmaris was previously known, was part of the Carian Empire in the 6th century B.C. when overrun by the Lydians. Another invasion by the Lydians in 334 B.C. led to the partition of the Roman Empire of Alexander the Great.

According to the historian Herodotus, the Carians settled in what is now the province of Mugla after coming from Crete. They also took over the town of Physkos with its large natural harbour, and used it as a military base for their campaigns against the Phoenicians in Rhodes and other Aegean islands.The Carian civilization entered a dark period after 300 B.C., coming under the rule of the Egyptians, Asstrians, Ionians and Dorians successively. The Dorians turned the Carian province into 9 colony cities, also including Halicarnassos and Knidos, which became an active trading centre for Anatolia and led to an increase in handicrafts and maritime trade.

In 138 B.C. Attalos the 3rd, King of Bergama, whose predecessors had ruled Caria for 90 years, ceded Physkos to Rome and the city was ruled from Rhodes by Roman generals. The city became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1425, and the castle was built in 1521 AD for use in a planned assault on Rhodes. The Ottoman Sultan at the time, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, changed the name of the town to Mimaras, which then became Marmaris according to the historian Evlija Celebi.

A local rumour has it that the reason for the change of name Mimaras was that Suleyman, on returning from his expedition to Rhodes, disliked the castle and exclaimed “mimar as!”, which means “hang the architect!” Unfortunately there is no evidence to support this amusing story.

Climb to the top of this 2300 year old Ottoman Castle for stunning panoramic views across Marmaris.

Marmaris is home to the Ottoman Castle that dates back to the 3000B.C. according to the historian Herodotus.

Long after this, during the Hellenistic Age, Alexander the Great invaded Caria and the castle was besieged. The 600 inhabitants of the town realized that they had no chance against the invading army and burned their valuables in the castle before escaping to the hills with their women and children.

The invaders realized the strategic value of the castle and repaired several of the destroyed sections to house a few hundred soldiers before the main army returned home.

The 17th century writer Evliya Celebi mentions the castle, which was rebuilt by Kanuni Sultan Suleyman in 1522 when he invaded Rhodes. A local rumour has it that the reason for the change of name Mimaras was that Suleyman, on returning from his expedition to Rhodes, disliked the castle and exclaimed “mimar as!”, which means “hang the architect!” Unfortunately there is no evidence to support this amusing story.

Since 1979 restoration work has been continuing at the castle in order to restore it to near its original condition.
Today, this historical building hosts an archaeological museum. There are 7 galleries, the largest of which is used as an exhibition hall and the courtyard is decorated with seasonal flowers. In addition to the permanent displays, cultural and artistic activities are offered.

For a visit of the Ottoman Marmaris remains start at the Caravanserai, an inn built in 1545, which includes seven small rooms and one large room. From Caravanserai walk up the stairs to the castle of Suleyman the Magnificent and visit the many galleries within, including a gallery of archeological findings. Enjoy Marmaris Bay views from one of the castle walls before making your way down the narrow winding streets of “Tepe Mahalesi” (Hill District) to view traditional local architecture.

Information for visitors to Marmaris Castle & Archeological museum:

01 April – 31 October Marmaris Castle Archeological museum is open from 08:30 till 19:00
31 October – 01 April Marmaris Castle Archeological museum is open from 08:00 till 17:30
Open Every Day
Admission 2019: 12 Turkish lira*

https://www.marmarisinfo.com/marmaris/marmaris-history.php


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