Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)



Kiz Kulesi or the Maiden’s Tower is located on a small island in the Asian region of Uskudar, dating back to the Byzantine period, which is about a thousand years ago. At that time, the tower was used as a customs office or as a site for tolls and a lighthouse. The tower is 23 meters high and now has a restaurant on top of it in which you can experience eating in a completely special environment. The tower is 200 meters far from the shore and you can easily reach it by taking the boats every day. There are many local cafés near the tower where you can relax for hours and take beautiful photos. We would definitely recommend visiting this tower at sunset.

There are many stories among the people about the history of the tower. But two stories are most popular ones.

The first story is about a beautiful girl named Hero and a boy named Leander who were in love with each other. Leander swims to the tower every night to visit his love, meanwhile Hero holds a torch to guide him in the dark waters toward the tower. But on a stormy night Leander couldn't see the light as it was put out by the winds. He swam all night trying to find his way until he drowned. The day after, when Hero finds out that her lover has died, she also drowns herself in the water.

The second story is about an emperor and his daughter. The Byzantine emperor heard a prophecy telling him that his beloved daughter would die at the age of 18 by a snake. So he decided to put her in this tower built on a rock and isolated from the land so that no snake could kill her. But she couldn't escape from her destiny after all. On her eighteenth birthday, the gifts were sent to the tower. Among gifts was a fruit basket in which a snake was hidden. The snake bit the princess and killed her.