The current Galata Bridge is actually the fifth bridge built here to span the Golden Horn. The first Galata Bridge at the mouth of the waterway was constructed in 1845 by Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-1861) and used for 18 years. This bridge was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863, built by Ethem Pertev Pasha on the orders of Sultan Abdülaziz (1861-1876) during the infrastructure improvement works prior to the visit of Napoleon III to Istanbul. In 1870 a contract was signed with a French company, Forges et Chantiers de la Mediteranée for construction of a third bridge, but the outbreak of war between France and Germany delayed the project, which was given instead to a British firm G. Wells in 1872. This bridge, completed in 1875, was 480 m long and 14 m wide and rested on 24 pontoons. It was used until 1912 when the fourth bridge was built but this was badly damaged in a fire in 1992 and towed up the Golden Horn to make way for the modern bridge now in use. If you walk over it you'll see, literally, dozens of locals fishing in the Golden Horn.
The Galata Bridge filled with Turkish people busy fishing and having fun spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul. From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels. It is the oldest recorded bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul and it was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century close to the area near the Theodosian Land Walls at the western end of the city. In 1453, during the Fall of Constantinople, the Turks assembled a mobile bridge by putting their ships next to each other and used it for transporting their troops from one side of the Golden Horn to the other.
I do love a good bridge, as anybody who has read my Bristol pages may have realised. So I was very pleased to see the segments of the German-built 1912 Galata pontoon bridge were not scrapped when they became redundant: they were merely towed upstream and moored up.
Charmingly, one of the sections sports an English red telephone box. I couldn't see whether it was a K2 or a K6 from the boat.
The Galata Bridge spans the mouth of the Golden Horn and joins the Asian side (Eminou) of Istanbul to the European side (Galata). The previous bridge was a pontoon bridge which probably had alot more charm than the current bridge. The Galata Bridge is a bascule (moveable) bridge. Built in 1992, the new bridge is 490m long. The deck of the bridge is 42m wide. There are 3 lanes for vehicles and a walkway in each direction. The tram runs on the tracks in the middle of the bridge.
The bridge is itself is not particularly attractive. It is more the activity on and around the bridge that is so interesting. It is a great place to walk - actually stroll.
Along the top of the bridge men are fishing and selling their catches while vendors are selling various street food. The lower level of the bridge is lined with cafes and restaurants selling fish, of course. We stopped for lunch one day - took a seat outside almost right on top of the Bosphorus River. We had great fish and relaxed watching the various vessels sailing the Bosphorus while fishing lines with small fish attached were reeled in over our heads.
From Eminou you can catch the ferries or tour boats that ply the Bosphorus (definitely recommend doing this!).
For a great snack/lunch visit the boats lining the Eminou quayside. The fish are grilled right on the boats and the finished sandwich is handed over to you from the boat. Small chairs and even smaller tables available. Gets very crowded but absolutely worth it! (With your back to the Yeni Cami/New Mosque, the boats are located on the left side of the bridge - Eminou side.)
Everybody seems to know the Galata Bridge, what I didn't know was there has been many.
The first Galata Bridge at the mouth of the waterway was constructed in 1845, then was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863. This bridge was replaced in 1875. The fourth Galata Bridge was built in 1912. It is this bridge that was badly damaged in a fire in 1992 and towed up the Golden Horn to make way for the modern bridge now in use.
The Galata Bridge is very busy with Trams, Buses, Cars & people. People can walk and eat at Restaurants on the lower deck. On the top deck, lots and lots of Men fishing! where are the women? I love fishing! The Fish they catch are very small and if home, we would have to throw them back into the ocean!
On the Eminonu side you can get Fish sandwich, freshly cooked, with a little bit of salad added, they are quite nice! It does get very busy with the local Turkish people, so it must be good!
I loved watching their boats bobbing around in the water, evidently they don't get seasick, I know a few people that would! And how do they stand up on them, must have good sea legs!
And I forgot to add.........the men cooking, serving etc, are all dressed in nice Turkish clothes.
The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn.
The oldest recorded bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century close to the area near the Theodosian Land Walls at the western end of the city. In 1453, during the Fall of Constantinople, the Turks assembled a mobile bridge by putting their ships next to each other and used it for transporting their troops from one side of the Golden Horn to the other.
The fifth Galata bridge was built in 1994. It is a bascule bridge, which is 490 m long with a main span of 80 m. The deck of the bridge is 42 m wide and has three vehicular lanes and one walkway in each direction.
You can watch my 4 min 26 sec HQ Video Istanbul Galata Bridge out of my Youtube channel with Istanbul Not Constantinople by Scacubano.
Ok, the Galata bridge is full of restaurants and bars on the bottom floor....we spent one night there and had a great time, but make sure you see the menu with the prices first......we didn't get taken but heard from several friends that they were ripped off there...anyways... I always wanted to smoke a sisha pipe or huuka pipe.....very common in the middle east...and we found a place that would let us borrow one as long as we paid for the tobacco smoked..usually in apple mint flavor.... I tried it and it was fun..... had a couple of beers and walked around....a nice evening out !!!!!
The Galata Bridge carries autos, buses, trams, and pedestrians across the Golden Horn. In addition to its roadway, the bridge has wide sidewalks from which dozens of locals fish every day when the weather is good. By walking across the bridge, you get good views of the city across the open water.
Below the roadway, the bridge has a lower pedestrian level which is lined with restaurants. Two things to keep in mid about the lower level: 1.) The walkway does not go completely across the river - you have to go up to the upper roadway to get across the midsection of the bridge's span, and 2.) The waiters from the restaurants along the bridge are very aggressive in their efforts to woo you into eating in their restaurants.
Galata bridge joins the shores of the Golden Horn. It is always very busy: cars and buses on the road, pedestrians crossing from one shore to the other, fishermen, shops; underneath ferries and fishing boats pass continuously under the bridge. Crowd is the keyword of Galata bridge.
The bridge spans the mouth of the Golden Horn connecting the 2 sides of European Istanbul. It is a great place to stand & view the cities skyline & the locals as they commute, shop & relax.
The bridge has 2 decks, the top deck is where the locals fish from. The lower deck is full of restaurants, bars & tea-houses.
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