Galata Tower, Istanbul

4 out of 5 stars 99 Reviews

Buyuk Hendek Cad., Beyoglu 212 293 8180

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  • Dwellings around the tower
    Dwellings around the tower
    by Sirvictor
  • Galata Tower as seen by the sea
    Galata Tower as seen by the sea
    by Sirvictor
  • Galata Tower
    Galata Tower
    by Sirvictor
  • albaaust's Profile Photo

    Great view of Istanbul

    by albaaust Written Feb 17, 2008

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    Tarihi Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower) Galata Tower is regarded as one of the oldest towers in the world. It was originally built of wood in 527 by Byzantine Emperor Anastasius Oilozus and reconstructed by Genoese as Christea Turris (Christ Tower) using stack stone. The tower consists of 8 floors and is 66.90 metres. To get to the tower you can catch the ferry to Karakoy. We walked across the Galata bridge and then up the hill. Ask people for directions.The 360 degree views from the Tower are outstanding. There is also a night club and restaurant every night.

    View from the tower The tower History of the tower
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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by xiquinho Written Dec 29, 2007

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    Built in 1348 and originally known as the Tower of Christ, the Galata Tower once formed part of the fortifications of the Genoese trading city of Galata, founded in the dying centuries of Byzantine rule.

    With the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, Galata became the westernmost end of the "Silk Road" from China, while Galata Tower itself served as a fire-spotting post. These days the tower affords unparalleled views over the city from its galleries, thankfully reached via a thoroughly modern lift rather than 14th-century stairs. Galata Square.

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  • clouds111's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by clouds111 Updated Sep 6, 2007

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    If you want a panoramic view across the city than the Galata Tower is where you'll find it. On the otherside of the Golden Horn to Sultanahmet and is a steep walk up the hill so be prepared for a good hike, luckily a lift will take you to the top of the tower otherwise I'm not sure I would have made it! ;) The Galata Tower also has a restaurant and nightclub at the top, although I didn't eat here as it looked a bit tacky... If you are afraid of heights you may want to give it a second thought because there's the appearance of there not being much barrier between you and a very long drop, although i'm sure it's fine.... Worth a visit but strangely I preferred the view that some of the restaurants and hotels give you. 10 YTL each.

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  • viajeras2's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by viajeras2 Updated Aug 24, 2007

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    Although evidence exists of a settlement as early as the first century BC, hitorical documentation on the area known as Galata really starts with the fourteenth century. A modest settlement facing Byzantine Constantinople known as Sykai (Fig Tree), Galata gained importance from the fourteenth centurey on as a powerful Genoes colony, surrounded by walls and boasting a castle and its famous tower. Until 1453 , date of the fall of the Byzantine capital, the autonomous town of Galata was one of the major actors of the Mediterranean trade. Following the Ottoman conquest, Galata preserved some of its autonomy for some time, and remained a centre of western traders, yet it also acquired an increasingly Ottoman character through the rapid settlement of a large Muslim population.

    The district experienced a rapid boom in the nineteenth century, as it developed hand in hand with the residential suburb of Pera. By the last quarter of the century, Galata had become an alternative and modern center of a rapidly changing Istanbul. The demise of the Empire and the Transition to the Republic was certainly cause for decline, but Galata eventually made a strong comeback in the 1950s, as Istanbul itsefl regained much of its lost importance.

    Galata has attracted a growing interest for the rediscovery of its cultural and historical heritage, which makes it likely taht the district will eventually regain its past luster as a cultural center of Istanbul.

    Info. attach by Ottoman Bank and Archive and research Centre.

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  • om_212's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower at the prayer time

    by om_212 Updated Jul 25, 2007

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    if you want to experience the essence of Istanbul, feel the full spectrum of emotions, try to plan your visit to Galata Tower around the prayer time (even if you are far from being religious, not a Muslim or even an atheist :). it's absolutely incredible experience!!!!!

    I happened to be there around noon in September, enjoying the beautiful panorama and taking pictures along with other people around me, when a call for prayer was sounded. First, at the Blue Mosque. then it was picked up by Yeni Cami, then by another mosque, and another, till Sulimaniye. the prayers filled the air, echoed, making a kind of endless loop. I was totally immersed into this beauty - harmony between secular and sacred. By all means, this was the most powerful emotional impression of my trip to Istanbul.

    to plan better, check the prayer time for Istanbul (http://www.asfory.com/muslim_prayer_times/istanbul_turkey.html). it could also help you to plan better your visits to mosques (tourists are usually not allowed to visit the mosque during prayer times)

    Galata Tower view from the Tower a former fountain next to the Tower the view on the hospital
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  • smeagol13's Profile Photo

    istanbul under my wings: GALATA tower

    by smeagol13 Updated Apr 16, 2007

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    the tower was built by the Genoese inadors in 1348, and it was partly destroyed durint he forth Crusade. the tower is 66,9 meters tall and the view from the top is great.

    it is possible to clibm up to the top of this tower today, and a 360 degree view of Istanbul is available at the peak. especially Eminonu and Sarayburnu provides the visitors with a great landscape from this tower.

    the building is also famous that Hezarfen (master of 1000 sciences) Ahmet Celebi tried to fly from this tower to the other side of Bosphorus called Uskudar. and it is talled as a legend that his attempt was successful despite that he had used nothing to fly but the artificial wings.

    Sarayburnu from the Galata Tower Galata Tower from Eminonu Eminonu and Karakoy from the top of Galata Tower

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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The great look-out

    by viddra Written Apr 12, 2007

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    The Galata Tower is located at the hill overlooking the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara.

    It’s 61m high and you can climb 143 steps to get to the viewing terrace.

    The present tower was built by the Genoese between 1348 and 1349 as part of defense walls. In the Ottoman period, it was used as a prison, warehouse, lighthouse and observing tower.

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  • babazula's Profile Photo

    ADVENTURE

    by babazula Updated Apr 6, 2007

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    The Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi), also called Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines, is located in Istanbul, Turkey, to the north of the Golden Horn. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a huge, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline on the Galata side of the Golden Horn.

    The tower was built as Christea Turris in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. It was the apex of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata. The current tower should not be confused with the old Tower of Galata, an original Byzantine tower, named Megalos Pyrgos, which controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance of the Golden Horn. This tower was on a different site and was largely destroyed during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

    The 66.90 m tower (62.59 m without the ornament on top) was the city's tallest structure when built.

    The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.

    In 1638, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings from this tower over the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side.

    In the 1960s the original wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was opened to the public. There is a restaurant and café on its upper floors which commands a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels.

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  • divandrea's Profile Photo

    Unforgettable View!

    by divandrea Updated Mar 21, 2007

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    Galata Tower was built in the 14-th century, used as a prison, a hotel and an observatory among many other things in the past. Nowadays there are a restaurant, a nightclub and above all a viewpoint on top of the tower. There you get an amazing view over Istanbul. I highly recommend you to climb Galata Tower (or you can take the elevator) just before sunset. Seing the sun set behind the Mosques on the Golden Horn is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
    Open Daily from 9 to 8.

    One of the Landmarks in Istanbul: Galata Tower Sunset over the Golden Horn (from Galata Tower) Sunset over the Golden Horn (from Galata Tower)
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  • realde14's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by realde14 Written Mar 11, 2007

    The Galata Tower, built by the Genovese in the 14th century is around 60 metres tall and offers the best views on old Istanbul's skyline with its mosques and castles. The sunset over the Golden Horn is especially beautiful. Well worth a short visit.

    Galata Tower
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  • gilabrand's Profile Photo

    The Flying Turk

    by gilabrand Written Jan 31, 2007

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    The Galata Tower is one of those famous Turkish landmarks that you’d have to be blind to miss. This circular stone tower with a cone-shaped roof juts up on the skyline as you stand on the waterfront near the ferry pier. Remember the fairy tale about Rapunzel (“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair”), locked up in a windowless tower? Well, that was my association when I saw the one in Galata (not to be confused with the Maiden’s Tower, which is a kind of lighthouse).

    Back in the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, this side of the Golden Horn was home to merchants from Genoa. In 1349, they built the tower as part of a network of fortifications.

    But since the 17th century, the Galata Tower has had another claim to fame: A mad scientist and/or daredevil by the name of Hazerfen Ahmet Celebi (“hazerfen” means “a thousand sciences”) chose it as the launching pad for his new invention. He strapped on a pair of homemade wings and jumped off the tower to prove that he could fly.

    The story goes that he landed on the other side of the Bosphorus, in the presence of a large crowd of witnesses (who may or may not have smoked too much sheesha that day). One way or another, Celebi survived. But instead of rewarding him, the Sultan exiled him to Algeria, where he died at the ripe old age of 31.

    If you are coming from Sultanahmet, the Galata Tower can be reached by crossing the bridge, but we approached it from behind, after a visit to Dolmabahce Palace. Walking through the narrow, winding streets of Galata, it was quite dramatic to see this ancient tower suddenly loom up in front of us.

    If you are willing to shell out 8 YTL, you can take the shiny new elevator to the top for a panoramic view of Istanbul. If you are willing to shell out even more, you can have dinner at the rooftop restaurant and watch a bleached blond bellydancer do her stuff.

    Up, Up and Away
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  • flyfreak's Profile Photo

    Flying bird's perspective

    by flyfreak Written Dec 28, 2006

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    The Galata tower is good to get an overview of the city - you can get a little bit of distance of the noise and busy streets and see all the ships and boats moving along the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. There is also a restaurant in the Galata tower (for romantic dinners :-)).
    Well have a look at the pics and enjoy the view!

    Galata tower View over the Bosphorus from Galata tower The Galata Bridge Golden horn/Topkapi palace/HagiaSofia/Blue Mosque That's me above Istanbul
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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    Great views from Galata Tower

    by Tijavi Written Dec 23, 2006

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    Another must visit for first timers is the Galata Tower, which offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city. One of the best times to climb the tower (through elevator, of course), is about sunset, when the city is basked in hues of deep orange. For more of the tower's history, visit this Wikipedia website.

    Sultanahmet from the tower Up close The tower from Eminonu With the Galata Bridge on the foreground The other side, this time, the Bosphorus
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  • artonice's Profile Photo

    Galata Kulesi(Galata Tower)

    by artonice Written Sep 29, 2006

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    This tower is also in the European part close to Taksim and Karaköy.
    It was built in 1384 . In the Ottoman Empire period of time it was used as observatory or fire checking tower.It is a touristic place until 1967.
    You can go to the top and can see the view of Istanbul.There is also a restaurant at the top.
    http://www.galatatower.net

    In 1632 Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi made wings and with that wings he flied over the Bosphorus and arrived to the place called Üsküdar (Anatolian part.)!!!!!!!

    galata tower
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  • mightywease's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower - Soar over the city

    by mightywease Updated Aug 1, 2006

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    The Galata Tower in Beyoglu was built in 1348 as part of the Geonese Fortifications. It has been used as a watchtower and observatory and is now a tourist attraction with a nightclub and restaurant on the top two floors.

    Having seen it stand out as one of the defining images of the Galata skyline it was great to go up it and see the wonderful vista of the city spread beneath and around us.

    A lift then a short flight of stairs takes you to the Observation deck with its fantastic views. Look out towards the Bosphorus, The Goldern Horn, Topkapi Place or the minarets of Aya Sophia and Suleymaniye Mosque. Look down at the intricate network of narrow streets surrounding the tower.

    While I adore the bustle of the streets and bazaars of Istanbul being at the top of Galata Tower provided a breathing space, an airborne retreat where you could open your arms and encompass the whole of this remarkable city.

    Opening Times: 9.00am-7.00pm daily

    Looking towards the Galata Tower
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