Galata Tower, Istanbul

4 out of 5 stars 99 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • 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
  • Hopkid's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by Hopkid Written Apr 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The only remaining tower from a series that dotted the Genoese walls built in the 14th century, it is one of the iconic landmarks because of its high position among fairly modern skyline of Beyoglu. Visitors can go to the observation level near the top for panoramic views of the city. The tower houses a restaurant/nightclub that caters to the tour group set. There's also a cafeteria on the upper floor which apparently isn't touristy. We decided to give it a pass but couldn't resist taking a photo as we walked through the neighborhood on our way up to Istiklal Caddesi.

    Was this review helpful?

  • neodue's Profile Photo

    GALATA

    by neodue Updated Mar 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Developing as a commercial centre for more than 700 years.The Karakoy-Galata disctrict once served as the gardens and vineyards for the northern part of the Golden Horn.
    The "Pera" name still used today.
    The name of "Galata" came from Galatians ( Celts)

    Galata or Galatae is a district in Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by several bridges, most notably the Galata Bridge. Galata (also known as Pera back then) was a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453. The famous Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in 1348 at the northernmost and highest point of the citadel.

    There are several theories concerning the origin of the name Galata. According to the Italians, the name comes from Calata (meaning downward slope) as the district is sloped and goes downwards to the sea from a hilltop. The Greeks believe that the name comes either from Galaktos (meaning milk, as the area was used by shepherds in the early medieval period) or from the word Galat (meaning Celtic in Greek) as the Celtic tribe of Galatians were thought to have camped here during the Hellenistic period before settling into Galatia in central Anatolia. The inhabitants of Galatia are famous for the Epistle to the Galatians and the Dying Galatian statue.


    Arap Mosque, originally built as the Dominican Church of St. Paul in 1233.In history, Galata is often called Pera which comes from the old Greek name for the place, Peran en Sykais, literally 'the Fig Field on the Other Side'. Much later in Byzantine times Galata became significant as the site of the Megalos Pyrgos (Great Tower) from which an iron chain could be raised in times of war to block entry to the Golden Horn. This tower was destroyed during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, but a new tower was later built by the Genoese on a different nearby site as the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) and survives to this day (see: Galata Tower). From 1273 to 1453, when it was captured by the Ottomans in the Siege of Constantinople, 'Pera' was a Genoese colony. The ruins of the Palace of the Genoese podestà Montano de Marinis, known as the Palazzo del Comune (Palace of the Municipality) in the Genoese period and built in 1314, still stands in a narrow street behind the famous Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) which was the financial center of the Ottoman Empire and has rows of Ottoman-era bank buildings, including the headquarters of the Ottoman Central Bank. Several ornaments which were originally on the facade of the Genoese Palace were used to embellish these 19th century bank buildings in the late Ottoman period. Another famous building in Galata is the Church of St. Paul (1233) which was built by the Dominican priests of the Catholic Church during the Latin control of Constantinople (1204-1261). The building is known today as the Arap Camii (Arab Mosque) because it was given by Sultan Bayezid II to the Arabs of Spain who fled the Spanish Inquisition of 1492 and came to Istanbul.

    At present, Galata is a quarter within the borough of Beyoðlu in Istanbul, and is known as Karaköy.

    Galatasaray S.K., one of the most famous football clubs of Turkey, gets its name from this quarter and was established in 1905 in the nearby Galatasaray Square in Pera (Beyoðlu), where Galatasaray Lisesi (Galatasaray High School), formerly known as the Mekteb-i Sultani (School of the Sultans) also stands. Galatasaray literally means Galata Palace

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    The Galata Tower

    by mikelisaanna Written Sep 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Galata Tower
    2 more images

    The Galata Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul, and provides great views of the city from its observation deck. The tower was originally built in the 6th century, and has been renovated a number of times since then (it caught fire once or twice). It was historically used as a lookout tower to spot ships and fires. It also served as a prison at one point. Today, the Galata Tower is a tourist attraction. It has a restaurant and an observation deck near its top, which offer you one of the best views of Istanbul. From the tower, you look out directly across the Golden Horn to Topkapi Palace and the Sulimeniye Mosque.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    the tower

    by iaint Updated Jan 30, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the tower

    I'd seen it from afar on dozens of occasions, but eventually went to take a close up look. It is 62m high and was built 1348 by the Genoese.

    I didn't go in because I was already hot and sweaty from walking around, and didn't fancy the climb.

    Apparently it's worth it for the view, but the interior itself is a disappointment.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Erkmen's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by Erkmen Written Sep 16, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Galata tower

    Build by the Genoeses as a watch tower for defense purposes..

    Galata is the quarter which occupies around the tower. City's one of the most attractive landmarks is the Galata Tower, whose huge, cone-capped form dominates the skyline on the Galata side of the Golden Horn. It was built in 1348. The tower was thoroughly rebuilt several times during the Ottoman period and in the past decade it has been superbly restored.It was opened to the public in 1967 and has now a modern restorant and cafe on its upper floors.

    Just enjoy the wonderful view from the top of the tower..

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    For superb views of the city

    by Durfun Updated Jan 8, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Approaching it from the narrow streets
    4 more images

    DIMENSIONS:
    The nine-storey tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59m without the ornament on top, 51.65m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35m above sea-level. It has an external diameter of 16.45m at the base, an 8.95m diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75m thick.

    It offers great 360 degree views of Istanbul across the Bosphorus from it's outside, open balcony. You buy a ticket & then queue up for the elevator. Once you get out, you still have to climb up some stairs to reach the viewing balcony. Inside, you can read about the history of this place, and see photos over the years.

    HISTORY:
    The Genoese built the Galata Tower, which they named as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ), at the highest point of the citadel of Galata, in 1348.

    Now the upper section of the tower has a conical cap, which was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.

    Starting from 1717 the Ottomans began to use the tower for spotting fires in the city. In 1794, during the reign of Sultan Selim III, the roof of the tower made of lead and wood and the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, upon which a new restoration work took place. In 1875, during a storm, the conic roof on the top of the building was destroyed. The tower remained without this conic roof for the rest of the Ottoman period.

    Many years later, in 1965-1967, during the Turkish Republic, the original conical cap was restored. During this final restoration in the 1960s, the wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was commercialized and opened to the public.

    RECORD SET HERE:
    In 1632 Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings for gliding from here over the Bosporus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side, nearly six kilometres away.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • viajeras2's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by viajeras2 Updated Aug 24, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • maykal's Profile Photo

    Galata Kulesi

    by maykal Written Feb 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Looking towards the old city, Istanbul
    4 more images

    Standing in Eminonu and looking across the Golden Horn, what do you see at the top of the hill? A round pointed tower poking up above the rooftops. This is the Galata tower, and for a fee you can take a lift to the top for spectacular views over all of Istanbul. My favourite time to come up here was late in the afternoon, watching the colours change as the sun began to disappear. I'd recommend coming here early on in your visit to Istanbul to understand how the city spreads out. Around you, the roofs of Galata, the old quarter of Beyoglu, lead down to the Golden Horn. Over the water, you can watch the chaos of Eminonu from afar, boats narrowly missing each other, crowds flocking to the street markets, smoke billowing from fish stalls. Off to the left, Topkapi Sarayi guards Seraglio Point, with Aya Sofya looming just behind. On the hills of old Istanbul, the buildings are less easy to pick out, but minarets and domes are recognisable everywhere, stretching all the way towards Eyup to the right. If it is a clear day, you can see the Sea of Marmara glistening in the distance, the four Adalar (Princes' Islands) black shadows on the horizon. Walk round the tower and you can see the docks of Karakoy and the mishmash of old and new that is Taksim. Further round, distant skyscrapers loom behind the red-light district of Tarlabasi. Keep walking, and you'll see the roofs of Tepebasi and Kasimpasha, until the shipyards of Kasimpasha come into view and you're back where you started from, the same view, maybe a little bit darker this time. A muezzin calls the azan, another follows suit, and soon the faithful are called to prayer from all corners of the city, and one by one the buildings light up.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    City roof

    by Lalique Written Jan 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Galata....
    An old tower, which pierces the skies of ancient Constantinople...
    60 meters - not that high in comparison to some of the modern constructions, but this is that very hight that doesn't make you sick and let you enjoy the view from a birds fly....

    There are cafe and restaurant on the top, which are rather tourist oriented and thus overpriced.
    However the view is worth paying 6,000,000 TL (about $4,5).

    PS By the way, the view from the towers toilet is great as well :))))

    Was this review helpful?

  • OH_DK's Profile Photo

    Great view from Galata Tower over Istanbul

    by OH_DK Updated Jan 18, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View from Galata, notice mosques in Sultanahmed
    1 more image

    I went to Galata Tower (Kulesi) after sunset, and it was a great experience to watch all the lights of Istanbul from the top of the tower.
    There is a restaurant in the tower and you can book a table there (call number) and at the same time have a great view of the city.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tdiver's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower views.

    by Tdiver Updated Mar 29, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Galata Tower.
    4 more images

    The 12 story tower built in the 14th century is probably built on another older tower but originally indicated the northern point of the Genovese district and was surrounded by ditches.The streets ( buyuk hendek and kucuk hendek mean big and small ditches ).It has variously been used as a shipyard,wharehouse,prison and fire watch tower during the Ottoman era.
    Since the 1960's it's been open to tourists and opens at 09.00.
    Great views of the surrounding area from the top,which is reached by means of a lift most of the way then a short flight of stairs.It's a bit narrow outside.
    As you see when passing there's a restaurant at the top (closed Sunday)also so you can stop and enjoy the views for a while longer.Requires a reservation if you want to eat at night,number below.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • clouds111's Profile Photo

    Galata Tower

    by clouds111 Updated Sep 6, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • manuelEB's Profile Photo

    The tower

    by manuelEB Updated Aug 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The tower will greet you after you have walked down Istiklal kaddesi. I didn't go up there, even when I was told the view was superb. There is a restaurant club on the top, which is very popular with foreign tourists, and locals that can afford de seventy five million liras. So there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Galata Tower "Views OF"

    by Martin_S. Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Galata Tower at night, Istanbul, Turkey
    4 more images

    We were down hill and across the bridge in the Eminonu area when I took that nightime photo of the Galata Tower. The second is a zoom shot from the same area, while the third was taken near the base of the tower before we went up. When entering you pay to take an elevator up, there is NO OTHER OPTION. What they do not tell you is that there are several floors of STAIRS after you get off the elevator......
    We saw several older couples pay, take the elevator and then were not able to climb the stairs...no signs make you aware of those nasty stairs, narrow and winding.
    There is an explanation sign on the floor where the elevator lets you off and it give the history of the tower. But I don't think many people visit for the history, most go for the unparralled view of Istanbul, the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the surrounding areas.
    http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul/Sights/Beyoglu/GalataTower.html
    There is also a restaurant on the upper floor where the sightseeing balcony is located. We decided NOT to have a coffee there because at all times the windows were blocked by the many sightseers on the balcony, why have windows if they have no view.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • orke's Profile Photo

    galata tower

    by orke Written May 18, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    if u croos the bridge from the side of the blue mosque u can see the tower just there - so walk to it and then buy a ticket (5 miil) and go up to watch all the erea around u - ull see the other sdie and all the mosques and ull see the bosphorus river and its beautifull

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Istanbul

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

91 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Galata Tower
4.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
5.0 out of 5 stars
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Istanbul hotels