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Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower (Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii, Üsküdar/İstanbul) – a.k.a. “Kiz Kulesi”, this site is located off the coast of Salacak neighborhood within Istanbul’s Üsküdar district (at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus). The name comes from a legend: the Byzantine emperor heard a prophecy telling him that his beloved daughter would die at the age of 18 by a snake. So he decided to put her in this tower built on a rock on the Bosphorus isolated from the land thus no snake could kill her. But she couldn’t escape from her destiny after all, a snake hidden in a fruit basket brought from the city bit the princess and killed her.

After several restorations in wood and stone, Emperor Alexius Comnenos built a strong defense tower in the 12th century AD calling it Arcla, meaning “Small Tower”. The tower was used as a lighthouse and control tower also during the Ottoman period after the Conquest of Constantinople. Final restoration was done in 1998 and opened as a restaurant

How to get there: It’s possible to take a boat from either from Kabataş or Salacak (on the road between Uskudar and Harem) for 20 TL. It takes 10 minutes from Kabataş and less than a minute from Üsküdar. Make sure to check the time schedule of the boat service in advance. Hours: 10:00 am – 6:45 pm (Saturday), 9:15 am – 6:45 pm (Sunday). Closed on Mondays.