One of the most striking characteristics of Bodrum architecture is the prevalence of stone masonry used in the construction of many homes.
Whether arriving by sea or land, one immediately notices the sugar-cube construction that prevails across the Bodrum peninsula. Even though recent decades of construction tend to use steel-reinforced bricks and cement construction methods, the original homes of Bodrum were all painstakingly built out of stone, and the prestige of owning a new or restored stone villa in modern times is very high.
Stone is a preferred material due to its insulating abilities, keeping houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Visually, stone houses are stunningly beautiful, with every detail of workmanship on full display. Building a stone house as opposed to a steel-reinforced frame house can cost up to three times as much for the same square meterage.
The prevalent use of stone in local Bodrum architecture dates back to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built entirely out of green lava stone from the Koyun Baba quarries (near modern Gümüşlük), this monument was large enough to be seen from the nearby island of Kos with the naked eye. When the Mausoleum was destroyed by a series of earthquakes, the Knights of St. John used the stone rubble to build the Castle of Saint Peter, the current landmark of Bodrum. The imposing nature of the castle has influenced local architecture greatly, including the prevalence of stone as a desired building material.
With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer stone masons who retain the skill and mastery of creating these beautiful homes. Careers in technology and tourism lure young, local Turks away from the long internships required to acquire the talent necessary from a stone mason to learn the trade. A recent article in Turkish Hurriyet newspaper (original article in Turkish) stated that there are now fewer than one dozen active stone masons to be found on the Bodrum peninsula.
The most sought after properties along Aegean coast of Turkey are those with custom made stone villas. Luxury Property Turkey is proud to feature a number of excellent stone houses with full modern amenities and incredible views. Stone houses are an excellent, long term investment with a much higher return on value than modern houses.