Maiden’s Tower to open as museum in 2023: Officials
Amid allegations that the Maiden’s Tower, one of Istanbul’s landmarks, is being demolished, the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums have announced that the historical structure is undergoing renovation and will serve as a museum next year, denying all rumors.
“The Maiden’s Tower will serve as a museum and a monument with its historical and monumental values intact in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic,” the directorate said on Sept. 3.
The Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leander’s Tower, sits on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus Strait, some 200 meters off Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.
Built in 1725, the tower served as a tourist site with a restaurant inside it in the previous years.
“Experts from two universities reported that the ferro-cement applied on the tower’s walls after the fire in 1940 was no longer durable against an expected earthquake,” the directorate said. “A restoration work has started at the tower, especially on the dome of the structure.”
The directorate also highlighted that all the renovation works conducted on the tower were published on the tower’s official site.
There is a legend that goes by behind the name of “Maiden’s Tower,” called “Kız Kulesi” in Turkish. An oracle tells the emperor of the time that his daughter will be bit by a snake on her 18th birthday. The emperor builds this tower in the middle of the sea to protect his daughter from all dangers. On her 18th birthday, the emperor brings a basket of fruits as a present for her daughter, but a snake hidden inside the basket bites and kills her.
According to this legend, the name comes from that princess who died in her father’s arms.