Legends about Istanbul


All over the world, every magnificent city has many myths and legends surrounding it, especially those which witnessed a lot throughout history just like Istanbul city. The city that once was the main capital for the most powerful empires in the world and has been ruled by hundreds of leaders and emperors, Istanbul city has more than 200 myths, legends, and stories about famous places, palaces, monuments and leaders.


Here are some of the most famous legends and myths about Istanbul and its monuments:


The legend of Sarikiz:


Probably, the most famous legend or myth in Istanbul. It is a story about the highest peak of famous Kazdaglari Mountains in the Marmara region. The story goes back for long time ago when a very beautiful girl called Sarikiz who lived in Gure Village, she was so beautiful that all young men fell in love with her and everyday a man visited her father to ask her hand for marriage but her father did not see what it takes to become his daughter’s husband in any of these men. Thus, these men have decided to turn over the girl and start a rumor saying that her father does not want to marry her because she had done something sinful and they decided to kill or send her out of the village. Her father decided to send her away from these men to Kazdaglari mountains praying for her and hoping that she would survive on her own. The young girl was able to survive and help people who lost their way and when her father knew that she was alive he decided to visit her to find out that she had become a farmer. Nowadays, the peak where Sarikiz was buried is named after her and the peak where her father was buried is called BabaTepe.

The legend of Kiz Kulesi:

The Kiz Kulesi or Maiden’s tower as it is called in English is located in Istanbul, specifically in the Uskudar District. There are a lot of rumors and stories about Kiz Kulesi that no one knows if it is right or not but the very famous is about the very beautiful daughter of the Seljuk Sultan, this sultan loved his daughter so much and worked hard to keep her safe. One night, he dreamed that his daughter had died after a snake bit her so he decided to build a tower in the middle of the water and put her in there away from anything that would harm her. The beautiful daughter lived at the tower for many years but one day, after she overcame a very hard illness, people started to send her baskets of gifts and food to celebrate her good health, one of the fruit baskets had a small snake that no one knew about it and while the beautiful daughter was sleeping, the snake came out of the basket and killed her just like her father dreamt.

The legend of Megaryan Byzas:


As the story tells, the megarians who live in Greece decided to find another city under the leadership of Byzas but they did not know where to find such a city and how to start searching. Thus, they decided to ask the oracle of Delphi, the oracle replied “ there is an area across the land of the blind, find the city in that area “. The  megarians then went on the journey to the area across the land of the blind to see the city under the leadership of Byzas that goes to the coasts of what is known today as Sarayburnu. When they reached the area, they were amazed by the beauty of the land that is known as Kadikoy today, and the knew for sure it is the land, because people who left it and went to settle down on the opposite land were actually blind to leave such a beauty just like the oracle said “ there is an area across the land of the blind”. Byzas was convinced right away that this area is the city he is looking for and decided to build it in a unique way which he had done, and the city was named after him, Byzas city.



Istanbul city still has a lot of rumors, myths, legend, and stories about its beauty, the palaces built in it, and the historical monuments. No one actually knows if it is right or not but what everyone is sure about, that Istanbul city is absolutely one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

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