Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)
Very few photos and postcards of Istanbul don’t display the Maiden’s Tower. Legend has it that a princess was locked in here to protect her from being bitten by the snake. Nowadays it is a lighthouse, customs station and residence for retired naval officers.
Another legend speaks of Hero and Leander, an ancient Greek myth. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who lived in a tower, Leander, a young man from Abydos on the other side of the strait, fell in love with her and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Leander was drowned like Running Bear at the bend of the river, much later on another continent.
There is a restaurant and the very top of the Maiden’s Tower and the views from atop are spectacular. Consider it a three hundred and sixty degree view of Istanbul across the Bosphorus. With each level going upwards, the views increases in amazing spectacles of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
The Maiden’s Tower is three storeys high and each storey has the legend about the tower’s history displayed. It will cost twenty Turkish Lira to enter the tower which makes it very pricy, but sunset visiting will definitely result in amazing photos. If you are on the European side of Istanbul you have to take the ferry boat to Uskudar, a taxi ride to the Maiden’s Tower and take another small boat to reach it.