galata tower, Istanbul
Karaköy, the modern name for the ancient Galata, is a commercial neighborhood in the Beyoðlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus.
Karaköy is one of the oldest and most historic districts of the city, and is today an important commercial center and transport hub. The location is connected with the surrounding neighborhoods through streets originating from Karaköy Square. The Galata Bridge links Karaköy to Eminönü in the southwest, Tersane Street to Azapkapý in the west, Voyvoda Street to Þiþhane in the northwest, the steeply sloping Yüksek Kaldýrým Street to Beyoðlu in the north, Kemeraltý Street and Necatibey Street to Tophane in the northeast.
The commercial quarter, which was originally the meeting place for banks and insurance companies in the 19th century, is today also home to mechanical, electrical, plumbing and electronic parts suppliers.
Fondest memory: Karaköy has been a port area since Byzantine times when the north shore of the Golden Horn was a separate settlement, walled across Golden Horn from the Old City. Around the year 1000, the emperor of Byzantium granted to the merchants of Genoa the permission to settle and do business at this location.
The district developed rapidly, and the Genoeses built sturdy fortifications to protect themselves and their warehouses. Fragments of the Genoese walls are still visible, but the Galata Tower, the highest and strongest point in the walls, is the most visible of all. In the 15th century, Galata looked just like an Italian city.
In 1455, right after the conquest of Constantinople, the district had three categories of inhabitants: temporarily sojourning Genoese, Venezian and Catalan merchants; Genoese of Ottoman citizenship; and Greeks, Armenians and Jews. The composition of the population changed in a short time, and according to a census of 1478, almost half of the district population was Muslim. From 1500 on, more Sephardic Jews settled here, who escaped from the Spanish Inquisition.
Karaköy experienced a second wave of Christian inflow when British, French and Italian forces of the Allies came to Istanbul to fight in the Crimean War (1854-1856). The lack of piers made the unloading of troops and military equipment difficult. A French company obtained 1879 the consession to build the quay in Karaköy, which could be accomplished in 1895 only.
In the last decade of the 19th century, Karaköy developed itself to a banking district. The Ottoman Bank established here its headquarter, European insurance companies opened branch offices.
With the increasing trade activity in the early 20th century, the port was extended with customs buildings, passenger terminals and naval warehouses. Karaköy became also famous for its Greek taverns located along the quays.
After 1917, thousands of White Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution landed here and settled in the area
Favorite thing: It's always a treat when a place has a historic vantage point from which to view the layout of the land from a 360-degree birds-eye perspective. Go up Galata Tower and see the Bosporus -- the worlds most crowded waterway -- sweep across a massive, bustling city.
Favorite thing: Built in 1348 as the "Christea Turris" (Tower of Christ) by Genoese colonists at the highest point of the citadel of Galata - which was then a Genoese colony independent from Constantinople.
It has one of the best views of Istanbul..Very close to Pera..
It was built by Genoan-Italian colony way back in 14th century...
I suggest you to take a detour from Tophane..
Probably the best and most beatiful place to see Istambul's sunset is 'Galata Tower', the oldest in the city.
Fondest memory: I miss when I'm away from Istanbul see sunset from Galata Tower, I love it!