Maiden's Tower A Journey to Istanbul's Mysterious Landmark History

Maiden's Tower A Journey to Istanbul's Mysterious Landmark 

By SU Magazin / 2024-05-23

Shining like a jewel at the entrance of the Bosphorus, the Maiden's Tower has been fascinating people for centuries with its history and mystery. In this article, we will shed light on the history, legends, architecture, and current state of this legendary tower. 

History of the Maiden's Tower 

The history of the Maiden's Tower dates to 408 BC. After his naval victory at Cyzicus, Athenian General Alkibiadis had a station built on a small rock in front of Üsküdar to control the ships coming from the Black Sea. This station turned into a tower over time. 

The tower was used for different purposes during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It served as a defense fortress, customs point, lighthouse, and quarantine station. In the 1830s, a fire broke out in the tower, and it was badly damaged. In 1856, it was repaired and put back into service as a lighthouse. 

In 2000, the Maiden's Tower was restored and opened to visitors, and today it is home to a restaurant, a café, and a museum. Visitors can reach the tower by boats departing from Salacak. 

The Legend of the Maiden's Tower 

There are many legends about the Maiden's Tower. The most well-known legend begins when a Byzantine king receives a prophecy that his beautiful daughter will be bitten by a snake and die. The king imprisons her in this tower to protect her. But Leandros, a hero, swims to the tower every night and meets the princess. One night a storm breaks out and Leandros drowns. The princess commits suicide by throwing herself into the sea out of grief. 

Architecture of the Maiden's Tower 

The Maiden's Tower is built of wood and stone. It is about 25 meters high and 16 meters in diameter. The base of the tower is square, and the upper floors become cylindrical. The tower is about 18 meters above sea level. The tower has an entrance gate, a cistern, and several rooms. The Maiden's Tower has 5 floors: 

The Lower Floor forms the foundations of the tower and is below sea level. The water cistern and the stone walls to protect the tower from the sea are located on this floor. 

The First Floor houses the main entrance of the tower. Above the entrance door is a Byzantine fresco. There is also a kitchen and a room on this floor. 

The Second Floor is the largest floor of the tower. This floor, which once housed the treasury of the Byzantine emperors, is now used as a restaurant. 

The Third Floor is the narrowest floor of the tower. Once guarded by the tower's garrison, it is now used as a café. 

The Fourth Floor is the top floor of the tower. Once used as a lighthouse, this floor offers a magnificent view of the Bosphorus. 

The architecture of the Maiden's Tower is a mixture of elements from different periods. The foundation and lower floors of the tower were built during the Byzantine period, while the upper floors were built during the Ottoman period. It is possible to see traces of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture in the tower. 

Visiting the Maiden's Tower 

The Maiden's Tower is a structure that has fascinated people for centuries with its history and mystery. With its magnificent view and unique atmosphere, the Maiden's Tower is a must-visit place in Istanbul. 

It offers accommodation close to the Maiden's Tower and other historical buildings. Sura Hotels, located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, offers its guests a pleasant accommodation experience with its historical atmosphere and modern comfort. For a pleasant stay at Sura Hotels, you can make a reservation from website.