When you visit Istanbul and take a ferry, you will be amazed at what you see. A stone’s throw off the coast of Uskudar, spreading its romantic lights into deep darkness. Maiden Tower, the tower which has been at the center of intrigue, legends, and strategies for years, was used for different purposes such as a toll station in 5th century BC by Greeks, as a chain off the Bosphorus by Byzantines and as a watchtower by Ottomans.
Many legends about why Maiden Tower was built exist. Although all of them are very interesting, here are some of them; according to one of the famous legends; a sultan had a prophecy that his daughter would die due to a snake bite when she became 18. The sultan tried to prevent his daughter death by putting her daughter in an off-shore tower, but unfortunately, a basket of fruit with a snake were taken to the princess for her birthday celebration, and she was bit and died in the arms of her father.
According to another legend, a girl named Hero, living in the tower, loved a man named Leandros. Leandros swam every night to see the beautiful girl, and the girl lit a lamp to guide her lover. One stormy night, the lamp was extinguished and her lover Leandros couldn’t find his way, thus drowned in the sea. When Hero saw her lover’s corpse onto the rocks, she threw herself from the window and landed next to her lover.
Nowadays, Maiden Tower is a touristic attraction, and it can be visited by ferries departing from Uskudar coast. You may also have a romantic dinner at the restaurant opened at the bottom of Maiden Tower, and enjoy the majestic view of Bosphorus from the platform at the top of the Maiden Tower.