The Maiden's Tower Database image

Kiz Kulesi, the Maiden's Tower - known erroneously as Leander's Tower - has served many functions since its construction in 1110. Initially a naval control tower, it has also been a lighthouse, a semaphore station, a quarantine post, a customs station, a home for retired naval officers, and a restaurant.

The origin of its name stems from a number of disparate myths, the most common and recent of which concerns a Sultan and his beloved daughter. According to legend, the Sultan was told by an adamant oracle that his daughter was destined to be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday.

Determined to deflect the barbs of fate, the Sultan built the Maiden's Tower for the exclusive purpose of keeping his beloved daughter away from land and all thing that crawled upon it. After the tower's completion, the girl moved in and remained there until the appointed day.

On the evening of his daughter's 18th birthday, the Sultan was overjoyed that he had prevented the oracle's prediction and so traveled to see her, bearing a basket of exotic fruits to present as a gift. When his daughter picked through the cornucopia, however, she was immediately bitten by a poisonous asp that had stowed away amid the colourful fruits. The Sultan's daughter died in her father's arms, right on schedule.

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