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Leander's Tower was first built by the ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in 408 BC to monitor sea traffic in the Bosphorus strait, which was then located between the ancient cities of Byzantion (European side) and Chalcedon (Asian side).
The tower was later enlarged and rebuilt as a fortress by the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus in 1110 AD, and was restored several times by the Ottoman Turks, in 1509 and 1763.
The most recent facelift occurred in 1998. Many have viewed this most recent restoration as tastelessly overdone.
The Leander's (Maiden's) Tower is one of the most famous historic landmarks of Istanbul. Just as the Statue Of Liberty welcomes those who approach New York City from the sea, Leander's Tower has for centuries welcomed those who arrived at Constantinople (Istanbul) by ship.
Used as a lighthouse for centuries, the interior has been transformed into a landmark pub, with an excellent view of the one-time Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman capital. Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day.
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