According to historical evidence, the tower, which is thought to have been built in 410 BC, was built by the Athenian Commander Alcibiades. At that time, it was used to control the ships passing through the Bosphorus and to collect taxes. When Istanbul fell under Roman rule, Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos further strengthened this structure, designed it as a tower, and used it for defensive purposes. The tower, which was restored in Ottoman times, hosted the performances of the Mehter band. Most of the lower floor of the tower was built during the time of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The Maiden's Tower, which has been restored many times throughout history, was opened to tourism in 2000 after restoration works started in 1998.
The most known story of the Maiden's Tower, which hosts many legends about it, is Leandros and Hero.
According to the legend of Leandros, Leandros and Hero were in love with each other, but there is an insurmountable sea distance between them. One very stormy night, Leandros sees the light on in the tower and jumps into the sea, thinking that his lover is calling him. But it's not Hero who lights up, it's another person who's hostile to them. When Leandros jumps into the sea, he turns off the light and causes him to drown in deep waters. Hero can't bear the pain of it, so she jumps out of the tower and ends her life. Those who know the story of lovers build a lighthouse in their name where the tower is.