Istanbul landmark to be culture and arts center

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The Maiden’s Tower, a landmark of Istanbul both with its history and its panoramic city view, will be turned into a culture and arts center by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The tower, which can be reached by boats from Istanbul’s Salacak and Ortaköy piers, will be reorganized and transformed into a culture and arts center after a short restoration work.

The authorities will also make an arrangement for the musicians to give concerts in the tower, which will be specially illuminated.

The restoration work in the tower, which was previously operated by a private company and that hosted visitors as a cafe and a restaurant, is planned to begin in the coming days.

Authorities are in contact with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli for the first concert at the Maiden’s Tower, according to Hürriyet columnist Ertuğrul Özkök.

Standing as a landmark of Istanbul between the two sides of the Bosphorus and having been the scene of many love stories, the mysterious history of the Maiden’s Tower stretches back 2,500 years.

But the first concrete information about the presence of a “man-made” building on the rocks ashore Üsküdar dates back to the 12th century.

The records reveal that Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos I had two defensive towers built on the Marmara side of the Bosphorus.

One of them was where the Maiden’s Tower now stands, and the other one was on the shore of Sarayburnu.

After the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans, Sultan Mehmet II had a castle built on the rocks where the Maiden’s Tower is now placed.

The tower was then surrounded with reinforced concrete in 1943 and was handed over to the Turkish Navy in 1959 for a radar station for some time.

Today, the tower has been transformed into a café and restaurant with a panoramic rooftop to watch Istanbul’s landscape.

Hurriyet Daily News

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