Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum breaks tourist record
BODRUM - Doğan News Agency (DHA)
Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum, known as the only underwater museum in Europe, attracts great attention from tourists even at the end of the tourist season.
The museum, visited by more than 300,000 people a year, has 13 display rooms where the world’s oldest sunken wrecks are exhibited. Two more display rooms will be added to the existing ones this year.
Featuring thousands of historical works of art, ship wrecks and artifacts including the treasures of Queen Nefertiti, the museum is a very important one for Turkey’s culture tourism industry.
Located in the harbor of the Aegean province of Muğla’s popular holiday resort town of Bodrum, the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum was visited by 300,000 tourists in the first 10 months of the year, spending nearly 2 million Turkish liras.
The 2,400-year-old Carian Princess room and the room of 3,500-year-old Uluburun sunken ship, which is the world’s oldest surviving sunken ship, draws the greatest amount of interest from visitors. Among the other popular specimens are the Eastern Rome sunken room, Glass sunken room, Early Bronze Age sunken room, English Tower, German Tower, Turkish Bath, dungeon and amphorae.
The removal of the wrecks and artifacts from the water and their conservation are explained to visitors by experts via slide shows.
The museum is flooded with people in summer and even winter from Greek Kos, Leros, Kalimnos, Patmos and Rhodes islands. It was reported that nearly 30,000 tourists came to Bodrum by boat to visit the museum.
Visitors of the museum are welcomed by warriors and janissaries carrying axes, swords and shields in the entrance of the Bodrum Castle. It is said that this is highly surprising for tourists.
The museum’s deputy director, Erhan Özcan, said interest in the museum increased every year. He said it was a very important historical area not only for tourists but also for Turkish and foreign archaeology students.
“The museum has become the focus of interest for world-famous documentary channels,” Özcan said. “Forty television channels from 35 countries including National Geographic, Japon NHK, Discovery and the History Channel have filmed the museum over the last three years. Thanks to this, millions of people have the chance to closely know Bodrum and the museum. We also earn money thanks to tourists visiting the museum and make our promotion that is worth millions of dollars. This is why we will open the Miken Room and Knidos Frescos Room to the benefit of cultural tourism in the next few months.”