THE LEANDER’S TOWER
Western sources erroneously state that this is the spot where Leander drowned as he was trying to swim across the strait to be with his lover, Hera. Actually, this incident took place in the Dardanelles, not in the Bosphorus. This rather small structure, known as the Maiden’s Tower ( Kiz Kulesi ), stands on a small isle and has become one of the symbols of Istanbul.Through the ages, it was used as a watch-tower, a lighthouse and a customs house. Today, it serves as a landmark for ships entering the Bosphorus,and has not changed since the last century.
Built on the hill in the Galata district, it was used as a lookout-tower in the 14th and 15th centuries. Located at a site overlooking the harbour and the entrance to the Bosphorus, it commands a magnificent view of the historic city. The upper section of the tower were constructed in the Turkish era when it was used as a fire-watch tower.Its conical cap was restored to its original early 19th century appearance in 1969. A restaurant and night club occupy the upper two storeys, and a balcony surround the tower.