Legend of Kız Kulesi, Leanders Tower, the Maiden’s Tower


If you cruise on Bosphorus or look from 4th courtyard of Topkapı palace on a clear day, you will see a tower lying on a small island, seems like standing in the middle of the sea, very close to Üsküdar coast, at the end of Bosphorus strait towards Marmarian Sea. Kız kulesi as in Turkish or the Leanders Tower or the Maiden’s Tower as it is also called in English, have many legends about including love, heroism, a king who tries to protect his daughter.

The most common legend is about the emperor/king who had a daughter and was told by a fortune teller that his daughter would die by the bite of a snake at the age of 14. To avoid that adverse fortune, he made this tower built and put his daughter in the middle of the sea where the snakes could not come. But as we all know, always something terrible happens when a father tries to protect his own daughter, so at the age of 14, she got bitten by the snake which came in the basket of fruit bought by small fruit seller boat.

The other legends are also sad, but don’t curb your enthusiasm about passing on the other side of the city and visiting this museum. They have a nice restaurant and café; even though it is a bit pricey I think it is one of the nicest places on Bosphorus to drink a cup of coffee and watch Old City silhouette.

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