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Name: Kizkulesi Lighthouse  

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Also known as: Kiz Kulesi Lighthouse

Also known as: Girl Tower, Maiden Tower, Leander's Tower

Nearest Town or City:
Istanbul, , Turkey

Location: On small island at the end of the Bosphorus.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Alper Camsari
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Managing Organization:
Hamoglu Tourism and Hotel Management


This tower was erected by Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos, and it served as a prison for a time. It was used as a lighthouse for part of its history, and is the oldest lighthouse in Istanbul. The mythological hero Leander was said to meet with his beloved Hero at Kizkulesi, but he drowned while swimming to the tower, and Hero committed suicide. There is also a story about a king who kept his beautiful daughter locked up here, as he was alerted by a prophecy that his daughter would die from the bite of a snake. It is said that while in the tower, she died from the bite of a snake that was brought in a basket of grapes. According to another story, the Byzantine emperor Manuel Commene (1143-1180) became angry when he learned that his daughter Leander had a love affair. He commissioned the present tower to be constructed and imprisoned his daughter in it. Because of this, the tower was also known as the "Leander Tower." The tower has been altered several times. It was restored most recently in 2000. It is now open as a museum, restaurant and café.

This light is not operational

Date Established: c. 1110

Current Use: Museum and restaurant/café

Boat transportation is available from Salacak and Kabatas to Kizkulesi.

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