There are countless folklores about the construction of the tower and its site.
According to the most widespread Turkish legend, a sultan had a much cherished daughter. One day, a prophecy forecasted that a poisonous snake would kill her on her 18th birthday, the sultan, in an struggle to prevent his daughter’s early death, placed her away from land to preserve her away from any snakes, and built a tower in the middle of the Bosphorus to shield his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where only her father would regularly visit her.
On the 18th birthday of the princess, the sultan brought her a basket of exotic lavish fruits as a birthday present, overjoyed that he was capable of averting the prediction. While reaching into the basket, however, a snake that had been hiding between the fruit bit the young princess and she deceased in her father’s arms, just as the vision had predicted.
Another story originated from the prehistoric Greek myth of Hero & Leander, Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who resided in a tower in the middle of the Bosphorus.
Leander, a young man from Abydos on the other side of the channel, fell in love with her and would swim every evening through the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lantern every night at the top of her tower to lead his way.
This progressed through the hot summer, but one thundery winter night, the waves flung Leander in the sea and the gusts blew out Hero’s light, and Leander lost his way, and drowned. Hero flung herself from the tower in heartache and died as well.
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