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x0x Destination guides: The Maiden's Tower, Istanbul, Turkey

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  • Turkish Culture List
    x0x Destination guides: The Maiden s Tower, Istanbul, Turkey by Elizabeth Coughlan A small tower stands on a tiny rocky island at the mouth of the Bosphorus,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2010
      x0x Destination guides: The Maiden's Tower, Istanbul, Turkey

      by Elizabeth Coughlan

      A small tower stands on a tiny rocky island at the mouth of the Bosphorus, just off Istanbul's Asian shore. Known locally as the Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi in Turkish), it has guarded the Bosphorus, and illuminated the way for sailors over the centuries. Today, there are more modern methods of navigation, but the tower continues to intrigue visitors to Istanbul. There is often confusion over the name of the tower. In the ancient Greek and medieval Byzantine eras, it was known as Leander's Tower, for reasons that will become apparent.

      The Athenian General, Alcibiades, built the first tower on the islet,
      2,500 years ago. Its purpose was to monitor the movement of Persian ships in the strait. A chain was strung across the Bosphorus from the tower to the opposite bank, as a customs checkpoint for shipping negotiating the narrow waterway. Much later, in 1110, the Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus redesigned the tower and made it into a fortress.

      Read the rest at:

      http://www.helium.com/items/1941293-maidens-tower-istanbul-turkey

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