Jul '10 - Aug '10
Went with a friend for a drive up the Bosphorus. Along the way we stopped at Rumeli Fortress, a fortress built over just 4 months in 1452 under the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror for the final attack on Constantinople.
The legend of Maiden's Tower -
A sultan had a much beloved daughter. 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. (clipped from wikipedia)
Can't miss an opportunity like this.
Turkey is at the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe, to this day its unique geographic position has brought with it tremendous conflict. It has been occupied by such diverse civilizations as the Hittites, the Trojans, Lyceans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantine and Ottomans, finally leading to the establishment of the modern Turkish state. In the wake of these periods of occupation, architecture from each has been deposited throughout the country.