The architectural structure of the Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi) dates back to 341 BC. This cape which was an extension of the Bosphorous straits at the time (there are rumours that it was a peninsula before) used to be called "vus".
According to the most famous story of KIZ KULESI, Constantine, one of the Byzantine emperors had a beautiful daughter whom he loved dearly. The soothsayers said that the girl would one day be bitten by a snake and die.
To protect his daughter the emperor commissioned a tower to be constructed on the small island where Kiz Kulesi stands now and sent his daughter there. But the girl was killed by a snake which came to the small island in a grape basket.
According to another well-known story Manuel Commene (1143-1180), one of the Byzantine emperors, got angry when he learned that his daughter named Leander had a love affair and he commissioned this tower to be constructed and closed the girl in it. After this the tower was called the LEANDER TOWER.
After being a mausoleum built on marble columns for the wife of Commander Chares a chain was pulled from its location at Sarayburnu to the island where the tower was located in 410 BC to make it a customs area controlling the entries and exits of the Bosphorous strait.
At 1110 AD the first apparent structure (tower) was built by the Emperor Manuel Comnenos.
This structure which was built as a defence tower was named Arcla meaning "Small Tower". Although there is no clear information about this structure it is believed to be close to its current dimensions.
The tower which was used for defence purposes during the conquest of Istanbul was used for very different purposes after 1453.
During the Ottoman period it was used rather as a show platform than a defence team and the Mehteran team cited the nevbet (a national anthem) accompanied by the canons placed on the island.
The structure which was damaged during the earthquake of 1509 was rebuilt later. Furthermore it acted as a lighthouse with the lights that were added.
The structure that was built then included a tower and a castle and a cistern was built in it. The tower that burnt down with the fire from the light in 1719 was repaired again in 1725 by the Head Architect of the city Nevsehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasa. The tower section was changed a little and a glass chalet was added to the top and a lead dome was placed on it and the building was built with wood. It was converted into a quarantine hospital in order for the cholera epidemic not to spread to the city in 1830.
It was started to be used as a defence castle again with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and it is equipped with canons. The epigraph bearing the signature of Sultan Mahmut the Second was placed on the marble above the gate with the handwriting of the famous calligrapher Rakim. In 1857 a light is added again and in 1920 an automatic system is introduced as the light of the lighthouse. It is thought of transferring this building to private sector as of 1992 and several institutions such as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Üsküdar Municipality Chamber of Architects Sairler Turing Ulusoy Group of Companies etc. develop various mediatic projects...