Maiden’s Tower reopens following renovation

Maiden’s Tower reopens following renovation

Maiden’s Tower reopens following renovation

The Maiden’s Tower, one of the symbolic buildings of Istanbul, reopened on May 11 following a delay as the Feb. 6 earthquakes has prompted the team to carry out additional strengthening works.

“The Maiden’s Tower, which has been watched by Istanbulites from Istanbul until now, will now serve as a memorial museum where Istanbul can be watched to the fullest,” read a statement issued by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The tower was restored faithfully to its original state as it was freed from the additions added later and not suitable for its character, the statement said.

The renovation team used the plan of a restoration process carried out during the reign of Ottoman sultan Mahmut II as a basis, benefiting from drawings of the time.

The consolidation and strengthening works and the stake operation around the platform, which were carried out as extra precautions against a possible earthquake, was the main reason for the two-month delay, the ministry said earlier.

The megacity that last suffered heavy damage from earthquakes in 1999 is on edge, according to the repeated warnings by experts about the expected quake with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher.

Officials say the change in the tower does not only constitute physical appearance and strengthening efforts, but a cultural use of the tower will also be promoted rather than a commercial purpose.

As part of the plans for the tower to become a center of attraction again, a light and sound show describing its mythic love with iconic Galata Tower was also designed. The show, which is planned to be repeated every evening, will be held for the first time late on May 11.

Though each of them has numerous stories of its own, a legend has it that the two towers in love can’t reunite due to the Bosphorus between them.

When legendary Ottoman aviator Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi climbed the Galata Tower for his flight with wooden wings, the tower begs him to deliver the letters it has written to the Maiden’s Tower for centuries. He carries the letters to the opposite shore when he manages to fly and both towers become sure of each other’s feelings.

Even though they never meet, the legend has been an inspiration for generations and for Istanbul.

The Maiden’s Tower has a history dating back to 24 B.C. It was destroyed in an earthquake in 1509 and rebuilt. Restored by Mahmut II in 1832, the tower was last renovated in 2000 and was turned into a restaurant.

Galata Tower, one of the highest and oldest towers of Istanbul, was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district in Beyoğlu, directly opposite to ancient Constantinople.

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