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Seven wonders of the world: mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Mausoleum-a monument-tomb or burial structure, where the remains of famous and famous people. But how did the name “mausoleum”appear? It turns out that the word “mausoleum” comes from the name of the king of the caries Mausolus.

Mawson — the king of Caria
King Mausolus Of Caria
Once upon a time on the South-West coast of the Peninsula of Asia Minor there was a state of Caria. Ruled this state from 377 to 353 in the era of BC king Mausolus with his sister Artemisia, who was also his wife. Contemporaries called Mausolus cruel and greedy tyrant, but told about the great passion of the king of high art. Wanting to perpetuate his name in history, the king of Kara during his lifetime decided to build a huge tomb for himself in the city of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum in Turkey). According to the idea of Mausolus funeral monument was to become a unique structure in the heart of the city. The construction of the tomb was supervised by the wife of Mausolus-Artemisia. For the construction of the funerary monument of the Queen has invited the famous Greek architects Pipea and Satire, as well as the most famous sculptors of the time — Seohara, Beachside, Timotheos and the famous scopas, bas-reliefs adorning its another wonder of the world — the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. The tomb turned out to be so beautiful and majestic that it soon became known as the wonder of the world.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus-wonder of the world
Many subsequent rulers tried to build for themselves the same tomb, so for such buildings came up with the name “mausoleum” named Mausolus.

Prosper Merimee was told about the Carian king:

“Mausolus was able to squeeze the juices from the people under his control, and no shepherd of the people, in the language of Homer, could not smoothly shear his flock. In his possessions he derived income from everything: even on the burial he established a special tax… He imposed a tax on hair. He amassed great wealth. These riches and the constant intercourse of the Carians with the Greeks explain why the tomb of Mausolus was ranked among the seven wonders of the world.”

One of the seven wonders of the world — mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The mausoleum of Halicarnassus was very different from the buildings of its era in Greece. Classical Hellenic temples had a rectangular base, and the height of the building did not exceed the length of the facade. The mausoleum at Halicarnassus had an almost square base, and the height of the structure far exceeded the length of the facade. The three-tier mausoleum served not only as the Tsar’s tomb, but also as a dynastic monument and sanctuary.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The first tier of the mausoleum was a massive basement of brick with marble cladding. The second tier looked like an ordinary Greek temple with giant columns: 36 columns around the perimeter propped up the roof in the form of a pyramid. The roof-pyramid consisted of 24 steps. At the top of the pyramid were huge statues of the Royal couple in a chariot drawn by four horses. The total height of the building was about 46 meters.

The remains of the Royal couple were kept in marble sarcophagi in the tomb, located at the base of the mausoleum. The ashes of the king and Queen were guarded by stone lions. Inside the building was decorated with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from legends and myths of ancient Greece. Outside the walls of the mausoleum were decorated with sculptures of gods and representatives of the Greek epic. At the corners of the structure, gigantic stone statues of warrior-guards served. The mausoleum of Halicarnassus, as a true wonder of the world, fascinated with its grandeur and beauty.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Mausolus did not live to see the completion of his tomb. After the death of the king Artemisia, madly in love with her husband, threw all the energy and money for the construction of the mausoleum, which became a monument to their love. However, the Queen herself died before the construction was completed.

Queen Artemisia Of Caria
Pliny the Elder described the mausoleum of Halicarnassus:

“From the South and North its length is 63 feet, from the front and back-already the total length is 440 feet, it reaches a height of 25 cubits, surrounded by 36 columns. This coverage was called pteron. To the East, the reliefs made of Skopas, from the North — Breaked, from the South — Timotheos the West of Lohar. Before they had finished, the Queen died. Above the pteron rises a pyramid, equal in height to the lower part, tapering by twenty-four steps to the point of meta. At the top is a marble Quadriga, which was created by PYTHEAS. Together with it, the entire structure reaches a height of 140 feet.”

The Legendary Mausoleum
The temple of the God of war Ares and the sanctuary of Aphrodite and Hermes, located in Halicarnassus next to the mausoleum, seemed unsightly buildings against the background of the tomb of Mausolus.

Almost two millennia people admired and admired the mausoleum of Halicarnassus. In the XIII century, the legendary tomb was destroyed after a strong earthquake. In the XV century, the ruins of the mausoleum were dismantled by the knights-ioannites for the construction of the fortress of St. Peter (Bodrum Castle).

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in our days
Unfortunately, now from the legendary mausoleum was only a handful of stones.

Ruins of the mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Nowadays, on the site where once stood the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, there is a Museum where you can only imagine how beautiful and majestic was this wonder of the world. In the open-air Museum you can see fragments of walls and bas-reliefs, as well as imagine what the mausoleum looked like by studying the models presented here.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Museum
Some of the objects that were found during archaeological excavations in the territory of the mausoleum of Halicarnassus are stored in the British and Istanbul museums.

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