The Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi) is a structure built on a small islet located off the coast of Salacak, in the Bosphorus close to the Marmara Sea in Istanbul.

After the naval victory at Cyzicus, in 408 BC, the Athenian general Alcibiadis built a special station on a small rock in front of Üsküdar, probably for ships coming from the Black Sea.

The tower, which has become the symbol of Üsküdar, is the only work remaining from the Byzantine period in Üsküdar. It has a history dating back to 24 BC.

In 1110, Byzantine Emperor Alexios I built a wooden tower protected by a stone wall. An iron chain was stretched from the tower to another tower erected in the Mangana district in Constantinople (a neighborhood on the historical peninsula). The islet was later connected to the Asian coast by a defensive wall, the underwater remains of which can still be seen.

At the time of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the tower housed a Byzantine garrison led by the Venetian Gabriele Trevisano. Later, the building was used as a watchtower by the Ottoman Turks during the reign of Mehmed the Conqueror.

In popular culture

  • The tower features in a romantic scene in the Turkish TV series Kördüğüm (“Deadlock”), Season 2, Episode 6.
  • It also featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough and was visible in the background in the 1963 Bond film From Russia with Love.
  • It was also used in the film Hitman.
  • It was a point on the American reality game show The Amazing Race 7.
  • The tower featured prominenty in the Turkish drama series Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves).

Address: Salacak, 34668 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Türkiye

Opened: 1725

Construction started: 1110

Floors: 5

Working hours:
Thursday 9 AM–5:30 PM
Friday 9 AM–5:30 PM
Saturday 9 AM–5:30 PM
Sunday 9 AM–5:30 PM
Monday 9 AM–5:30 PM
Tuesday 9 AM–5 PM
Wednesday 9 AM–5:30 PM

Coordinates: 41°01′16.2″N 29°00′15.3″E / 41.021167°N 29.004250°E

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