The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is also known as the Tomb of Mausolus. This marvelous tomb is said to have built between the years 353 and 350 BC at a place called Halicarnassus, which is present day Bodrum, Turkey. This tomb was built for Mausolus, who was a Satrup in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II. Artemisia II was his sister whom he married. This wonderful structure was constructed and designed by the famous Greek skilled architects, Satyros and Pythius of Priene.
Standing tall at a height of 148 feet, this Mausoleum had 4 sides which were extremely beautifully adorned with smart sculptural reliefs each of which were created by the famous Greek sculptors Scopas of Paros, Leochares, Bryaxis and Timotheus. This structure was identified as Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon – such was its grandeur and explains its huge popularity.
The Mausoleum was mostly made in marble which added to its glory and charm. There was a huge courtyard that surrounded it elegantly. There was a magnificent staircase which went up to the platform where this mausoleum stood. Stone lions marvelously flanked the staircase, adding to its beauty. There were several scenes of Amazon and Greek warriors in battlefield which were quite similar to the images that we see in coins. These pictures were wonderfully carved on the walls of this mausoleum. The figures of Artemisia and Mausolus were placed on a chariot, just on the top section of the pyramid.
20 lion statues were found in this place which was larger than life. Another interesting feature of this construction was the depth of the rock on which this building stood. The rock was found 8-9 feet below and extended over an area of 107 by 127 feet. The Mausoleum was wonderfully adorned by beautiful sculptures.
Artemisia, wife of Mausolus’ wife was his sister. In those times it was quite common for rulers to get married to their sisters. It was Artemisia who hired some very talented Greek artists to construct this tomb. Though Satyros and Pytheos were mainly responsible for the design of the top, there were many other talented and skilled artists who contributed equally in the development of this magnificent tomb.
In 334 BC Alexander The Great conquered the city but the Mausoleum was completely untouched. In between 58-62 BC when the city was attacked by the pirates, the Mausoleum was still left undamaged. However in the 13th century, there was a huge earthquake and the columns of the Mausoleum were toppled. The stone chariot was also destroyed. The crusaders took over this city and several parts of the Mausoleum were used for the construction of their own buildings. Even today, tourists and visitors can see many pieces of this tomb which was used in strengthening the walls of the castle. By the year 1401 the Mausoleum was almost gone – what was left was just the base of the tomb.