Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)

Maiden's tower Kizkulesi

Located on a tiny islet on the Bosphorus just off Salacak coast of Uskudar, in the middle of Asian and European continents, Maiden's Tower(Kiz Kulesi in Turkish) also known as Tower of Leandros is the symbol of Uskudar. During 2500 years, it witnessed the history of Istanbul from Ancient Greeks to Turkish Republic.

Because of its mystical and historical features, there are many legends about the Maiden's Tower. Most famous one is 'the snake legend'. According to this story, one of the Byzantium sultan had a daughter. An oracle claimed that the princess will be killed by a snake on her 18th birthday. The emperor built this tower in the middle of the sea in order to protect his daughter from the snake. On princess's 18th birthday , sultan gave a basket of fruit to her daughter as a birthday gift. However, a snake was hidden in this basket and killed the princess in accornce of the prophesy of the oracle. Therefore, the tower was named as 'Maiden's Tower'.

During Roman Empire, it housed a mausoleum, during Byzantium Empire it used as a boarding station. During Ottoman Empire, it turned into a defensive castle and then a lighthouse guiding boats. In recent years, it was restorated and now serves as a restaurant and a cafe bar. Reservations are necessary.

HOW TO GO TO MAIDEN'S TOWER

To get there, you can take frequent ferries from Ortakoy (from IDO seaport, near the Ortakoy mosque), from Salacak, Uskudar or from Kabatas. Please note that, ferries from Kabatas run only after 8pm

Transportation fee is 6tl (~3euro)

Maiden's Tower (Kiz kulesi) on Istanbul Map