The Maiden’s Tower also called “Kiz Kulesi” meaning “the tower of the girl” in Turkish is located in Uskudar. The monument is emblematic of the city of Istanbul: Maidens’s Tower appears on postcards, photos, souvenirs, and the imagination of the city. It always inspires more artists. Maidens’s Tower was first used as a checkpoint for ships passing the Bosphorus in the 5th century BC.
In the following years the Tower was used as a lighthouse and as a resting place for sailors. The last reconstruction transformed the Tower into a museum, a semaphore and a restaurant. Come and marvel and have a dinner from 8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. with an exceptional panorama of the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Private boats connect the Uskudar shore to the Tower several times a day, but also from Ortakoy at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
It is also the perfect opportunity to sit in front of the Tower on the cushions bordering the shore, belonging to open-air tea rooms. The view is incredible and the locals never tire of it. The Tower also conceals a saddest legend: according to Greek mythology, a woman was locked up in the tower. Her lover named Leander would join her in secret swimming every night, aided by the light of a lantern. One night the lantern went out and the lover drowned.
According to Turkish mythology, the oracles saw that the daughter of a Byzantine emperor would succumb to the bite of a snake. The emperor, determined to thwart this fatality, locked his daughter in the tower. However, fate is written and no one can change it. The young girl died after being stung by a snake that had slipped into the fruit basket her lover was sending her from outside.