About Istanbul Kiz Kulesi

Supposedly, Kiz Kulesi was built to save the life of a 12th-century Byzantine princess. Her emperor-father learned from a prophecy that his daughter would die of snakebite; he thought she would be safe if confined her in the middle of the straight. A snake still got her, though, carried to the small island in a grape basket…

According to another story, a Byzantine Emperor imprisoned his daughter Leander in the tower when he learned his daughter was having an affair.

Despite its mysterious origins, the tower has served very practical purposes over the centuries: a customs control point, a lighthouse, a tollbooth, a prison, and a cyanide depot… The cyanide is all gone now, of course. Today, the tower has a very interesting restaurant.

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