This enormous structure can be dated back as far as 419 B.C. when the Greek Commander Alcibiades, instructed that a watchtower was built. Sentinels stationed at the tower had almost perfect vision of the Black Sea, making this perfect for watching for trespassers and enemy fleets.
During the rule of Emperor Komnenos he instructed that the tower be made into a fortress. Legend and evidence suggests that it was also used as a prison during this period. Towards the end of this period the tower was transformed into a lighthouse, being used to collect fares from the vessels that were entering and anchoring on the land.
When the Turks reached and captured Istanbul, the Tower was a fallen down ruin. The Turks set about the mammoth task of renovation and rebuilt a complete wooden tower. This wooden structure again caught fire whilst showing the way to passing ships. During the reign of Ahmet III in 1719, the tower was rebuilt, this time out of stone.
The Maiden’s Tower opened its gates to visitors around 2500 years after it had been built. Still today it is operating as a lighthouse, semaphore station and custom control area.
The Maiden’s Tower has become a very popular tourist attraction and now has a restaurant, gift shop and cafe. The Tower is closed on Mondays but open every other day from 12 noon until 7pm and there are also music events held every evening.
Whilst visiting the Maiden's Tower be sure to visit the small Bosphorus Museum, which has a small observation tower where you will get a perfect 360° view of Istanbul making this an excursion you will never forget.
Maiden's Tower is easily accessible from the Uskudar district of Istanbul and stands on a small inlet in Bosphorus. Just a short walk from the Uskudar port, and frequent ferry services are available from Eminonu or the Karakoy ports.
Steeped in history this is a must see attraction, prices and ferry service are as follows:
Daytime transfers from Salacak to the Maiden's Tower are continuous from 9am - 6.45pm.
From Kabatas to Maiden's Tower leave every hour from 9am - 6.45pm.
Maiden's Tower to Kabatas leaves every forty-five minutes from 9.45am – 6.45pm.
The transfer fees are Salacak: 5TL and Kabatas: 7TL making it extremely affordable and a not to be missed attraction in Istanbul.
Evening Boat Transfers are from Salacak toMaiden's Tower continual from 8.15pm to 12.30am.
Kabatas to the Maiden's Tower from 8pm, 8.45pm, and 9.30pm.
From the Maiden's Tower to Kabatas at 11pm, 11.45pm, and 12.30am.
All transfer fees in the evening are free.