Legend of Maiden's Tower

The stone structure appearing in each and every pictorial treatise of Istanbul (rather Turkey), has two very captivating tales associated with it. The name "Maiden's Tower" has its roots in the more popular story relating a maiden's misfortune. According to this tale, a beautiful Byzantine princess was once quartered in this tower. It is said that soothsayers had predicted her early death by snakebite. Her father, Emperor Constantine who loved her dearly, built an extended castle (near the spot where the present tower exists) and placed her there to avert the fatal end. Eventually the girl died of snakebite, which entered the castle in a grape basket.

The other story doing the rounds links it to the Leander-Hero romance and gives it the name Leander Tower. This tale tells that a castle was built on the present site by a Byzantine Emperor for his daughter Hero. When the Emperor learnt that his daughter had a love affair with a commoner named Leander, he imprisoned Hero in the castle. This could not dispirit Leander who, being of athletic-make, would cross Hellespont to see Hero. One stormy night he had no light to guide him and drowned. Hero, hearing of the mishap, flung herself into the sea.