Istanbul’s iconic Maiden’s Tower reopens

The Maiden’s Tower, one of the iconic structures in Istanbul of Türkiye, has reopened after two years of restoration.

After a meticulous restoration, the Byzantine structure, dating back to 410 BC, was transformed into a monumental museum with a new facade identical to its original outlook.

A spectacular light and sound show was held last week attracting many Istanbul residents and tourists to the Bosphorus shores to watch the event.

The restoration process was initiated in 2021 by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and led by a group of prominent experts, including architects and historians.

“The general purpose of the restoration work was to clear the annexes added to the building later that were not suitable for the original character,” said the ministry about the work in a press release.

The tower was also consolidated and strengthened against earthquakes.

The Maiden’s Tower is located on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus Strait, some 20 meters from the shores of the Uskudar district on Istanbul’s Asian side.

The tower was initially used as a customs checkpoint to control ships traveling through the Bosphorus and collect taxes during the reign of the Byzantine Empire.

After the Ottomans’ conquest of the city in 1453, it started to serve as a watchtower, a lighthouse, and a quarantine site during a cholera pandemic in the 1800s. Its last renovation was in 2000 when it was turned into a restaurant. ■

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