The Bosphorus Bridge and The Maiden’s Tower

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This gorgeous Turkish card came as a surprise from Filiz. 🙂 It pictures the Bosphorus bridge (above) and the Maiden’s Tower (below).

The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge or simply the First Bridge is one of two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey; thus connecting Europe and Asia (the other one is the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, which is called the Second Bosphorus Bridge.) The bridge is located between Ortaköy (on the European side) and Beylerbeyi (on the Asian side). The Bosphorus Bridge was the 4th longest suspension bridge span in the world (and the longest outside the United States) when it was completed in 1973. At present, it is the 21st longest suspension bridge span in the world.

The Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leander’s Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Turkey. There are many legends about the construction of the tower and its location. According to the most popular Turkish legend, a sultan had a much beloved daughter and one day, an oracle prophesied that she would be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort to thwart his daughter’s early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father. On the 18th birthday of the princess, the sultan brought her a basket of exotic sumptuous fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding among the fruit bit the young princess and she died in her father’s arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden’s Tower.

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