Maiden Tower, Istanbul
Built on the rocks of the asian shore at the mouth of the Bosphorus Strait, giving sailors a landmark and light for centuries. And here a story I heard while I was there: "A young man named Leander living in the city of Abydos on the southern shore of Canakkale Strait fell in love with the beautiful priestess Hero, and she was with him. Since she was forbidden to marry, Leander visited her secretely every night, swimming across the strait from Abydos to Sestos where Hero lived. So that Leander could find his way in the darkness, Hero carried a torch up to the top of the tower where she lived each night and waited until he arrived. But one stormy night torrential rain extinguished the torch in Hero's hand, and unable to find the right direction, Leander was eventually exhausted by the waves and drowned. At down the next morning Hero saw Leander's ragged shirt in the sea and threw herself into the water. So the two lovers were united at last in death. Many myths and legends bear a similiar resemblance to others, the location changing while the story remain the same.
Another of Istanbul's famous sights, the Maiden's Tower was first built by the ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in 408 BC to control the movements of the Persian ships in the Bosphorus strait. Back then the tower was located between the ancient cities of Byzantion and Chrysopolis. The tower was later enlarged and rebuilt as a fortress by the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus in 1110 AD, and was restored and slightly modified several times by the Ottoman Turks, most significantly in 1509 and 1763. The most recent facelift was made in 1998.
The structure was named Arcla, meaning "Small Tower". It was used for defence purposes during the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, and during the Ottoman period, it was used rather as a show platform, than a defence tower. Furthermore, it acted as a lighthouse but burnt down with the fire from the light, in 1719, and was repaired again in 1725 by the Head Architect of the city, Nevsehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasha. It was converted into a quarantine hospital in order for the cholera epidemic not to spread to the city in 1830. An epigraph bearing the signature of Sultan Mahmut II was placed on the marble above the gate, with the handwriting of the famous calligrapher Rakim. In 1857, a light was added again, and in 1920, an automatic system was introduced as the light of the lighthouse.
It featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough where 'M' is imprisoned.
Maiden Tower has an interesting story,actually a legend; one day the emperor of Konstantinopolis had seen a bad dream, in his dream his princess daughter was bit by a snake and died.when he woke up, he called all his maids and servants,ordered to kill all snakes in the country.and then he ordered the architectures to build a tower in the middle of the sea to keep his daughter away from land.this tower was called maiden's tower.
It is a small island in the Bosforus. It is said that an oraculo said a maiden was going to die by a snake bite. The father took her to this tower. But a basket with fruit bring a snake in it ...
You can see this Magnificent Tower if You go to Uskudar and walk a little by the coast to Harem.You can sit by the coast