Photographer's Note

As the Maiden's Tower was remote and inaccessible, people did not have much information about what was lived in it, and they sufficed with telling interesting stories about the inside, and imagining. The first story about the Maiden's Tower was a love story told by Ovidius. This story, relating to the sad love of Hero and Leandros, begins with Hero leaving the tower. Hero is one of the holy women of Aphrodite, and love is banned for her.

She leaves the tower years later to attend a ceremony to be held at the Aphrodite temple, and there she meets Leandros. These two youngsters in love with each other, bless their love with Leandros visiting the tower at nights. The Maiden's Tower witnesses the devotion and the forbidden love of these two young people every night. On a stormy night when Leandros was swimming to the tower, the love light that Hero burnt was put out. Leandros losing his way in the darkens is buried in the waters of the Bosphorous. Hero, seeing that her lover dies, lets herself in the arms of the waters as well. Other than this story on lovers that cannot meet, there is a snake story, similar to the Cleopatra's end. According to a prophecy, a king is to lose her beloved daughter at the age of eighteen, with a snakebite. Therefore, the king has this tower in the middle of the sea repaired, and places his daughter here. Proving that the fate cannot be escaped, a snake emerging from a grape basket sent to the tower, empties its poison to the princess. The king has an iron vault prepared for his daughter and places it above the gate of Hagia Sophia. The last story is from the Ottoman times. It is the story about Battal Gazi raiding the Maiden Tower with his soldiers and taking away the hidden treasures and the daughter of Üsküdar Tekfur (Governor). Battal Gazi took the daughter of the tekfur and the treasury, and rode away from Üsküdar, on his horse. The expression "Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti" (He who took the horse is already past Üsküdar) is a reflection of this story. Another aspect of this story coming to the present is about the name of this tower. In reference also to the princesses in other legends, Turks named this tower Kız-Kulesi (the maiden's tower). The tower, which was called as Arkla (small castle) in the Antiquity and Damialis (calf), was also famous with the name Tour Leandros. Currently it is "Kızkulesi" (the Maiden's Tower), and known with this name.

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Additional Photos by Gokhan Ertan (gertan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 327 W: 55 N: 275] (1527)
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