The previous day we sighted the Galata Tower high on the hill overlooking Istanbul, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. We thought we would visit the next day and we did.
Taking the light rail (tram) from the Sultanahmet we soon arrived at Eminonu district where the ferry terminal is located. From here we could see the Galata Tower high on the hilltop on the Asian side of Istanbul. We walked the Galata Bridge, a most interesting walk and soon arrived in Asia.
The task ahead of us to climb the steep hill to Galata Tower was much harder than I expected. We took it slowly walking through the various small streets and as my wife was with me we often stopped as she looked in shop windows and occassionally entered. I found the shops interesting, much different to those in my home town, and often the items for sale looked as though the shopkeeper had crafted them.
First built during 507AD as a wooden lighthouse tower it was rebuilt in pile stone during 1348 and has been renovated several times. The tower is 60 metres high and topped with a conical tower.
Hezarifen Ahmet was the first man to fly when he attached wooden wings to his arms and jumped off the tower and flew to Uskudar.
Tower was built in 1348 by Genoese colony. It was used mostly for defensive purposes. At the time it was built, it was the highest tower in city. When Istanbul was already Turkish, from 1717 tower was used for spotting fires.
Some interesting stories tell that in 17th century few people tested idea of aviation from the top of tower. One flew using artificial wings, another one tried the flight with a rocket in a conical cage filled with gunpowder.
Nowadays it is observation tower, used as a spot for Istanbul panorama. I haven't visited it inside, as I think there are enough places to see how Istanbul looks.
Originally built by the Genoese community in 1348 at the apex of the Byzantine fortifications protecting the old district of Galata, the tower stands some 67 meters high – the observation deck is at almost 52 meters plus the ground level is already 35 meters above the sea. During the Ottoman times, the tower was used as a fire lookout over the city. Fires and storms damaged the tower over the years, but the tower was restored in the mid 1960’s and privatized. There are elevators taking you to the observation deck plus a restaurant just below. The tower is open from 0900-2000 every day – the restaurant is open until midnight. One of the best views of Istanbul can be enjoyed from up here, but everyone else seems to know this too. Sunsets can be especially spectacular, but the crowds of tourist will be just as amazing. To get here, it is either uphill from the Galata Bridge or a short ways from the Tünel end of the major pedestrian street of Ýþtikal Caddesi.
The Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower) was built as the Christea Turris in 1348 when the city still was called Constantinople. It was part of the original fortification of this part of town.
In later centuries the 66.9 meters high tower was used as a watch tower to spot fires in the city. That did not prevent that in 1794 the tower was severely damaged by fires.
After restoration, during a storm in 1875, the conic roof on the top of the building was destroyed. The tower remained without its roof for the rest of the Ottoman period.
From 1965 to 1967 the original conical cap was restored and the wooden interior was replaced by a concrete structure. The tower was commercialized and opened to the public.
There are a restaurant and café on the upper floors which a great view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
Entrance fee to the tower = 10 TL.
Galata Tower is one of the landmarks of Istanbul and a very familiar name for football fans (Galatasaray team belongs to this side of Istanbul).
Going up by elevator or/and stairs, the deck offers a panoramic view of old Istanbul - you can even eat at the restaurant there, though I imagine the prices are above average.
Its total height is of 66,90 but the deck is situated at 52m above the land level.
The tower was built in 1348 and opened to public in 1967 after restoration works when the wooden interior was replaced with concrete.
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.
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.
This tower was built by the Genoese in 1348. It is one of the city's signature landmarks and gives great views. There is a pricey restaurant at the top where I had some ice cream after the long trip up.
The tower has been built in 1384 by the Genoese colony .The tower rises 140 meters above the Golden Horn.We call that neigbourhood "Kuledibi"It means in turkish (Bottom of the tower)
The area around the tower has been refurbished by the municipality.
During the first centuries of Ottoman era the Galata tower was occupied by a detachment of Janissaries, the elite corps of the Turkish Army. In the sisteenth century the tower was used to house prisoners of war, who were usualy consigned as galley slaves in the ottoman arsenal at Kasimpasa on the golden horn.
During the reign of Selim 2nd (1566-1574) the Galata Tower was used as an observation point by the renowed Turkish astronomer Takiuddin, who had his main observatory in Pera. In the following century, during the reign of Mustafa 2nd (1695 - 1703) the seyhulislam Feyzulah efendi tried to set up an astronomical observatory in the tower with with the aid of a Jesuit priest, but the effort was cut short when he was killed in 1703.
The Galata Tower was reconstructed on a number of occasions in the Ottoman period, most notably, after a great fire that destroyed much of Galata in 1794 (during the reign of Selim III) and by Mahmut II in 1832. the tower's conical cap was blown off during a storm in 1875, and it was not replaced in the subsequent restoration. The tower was used as a fire- control station until 1964, when it was closed for restoratiom before being opened in 1967 as a tourist attraction. The conical cap was replaced in this restoration, giving the tower much the same appearance as it had in Genoese times, though retaining the changes in fenestration and other structual aspects done in the Ottoman period.
from the top of the Galata Tower, built in Byzantine times originally as a watchtower, you can take in the most beautiful, 360-degree views of Istanbul... both European and Asian sides. One look towards the Asian shore will make you understand what probably prompted Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, back in the 16th Century, to fly with artificial wings from the top of Tower to Uskudar.
This 61m high tower is visible from all parts of the city and overlooks the Bosphorus and Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. It was built by the Genoese between 1348-9 but there had been a tower on the site since the 5th century BC.
The visitor can climb 143 stairs to the top floor viewing terrace or take the lift. There is a restaurant/cafe on the floor below. The views are stunning, even if it is pouring rain!
The Galata tower is one of the oldest still standing towers in the world dating back to 528ad.
It was originally build as a lighthouse and the place has been restored many times over the centuries, the last time being in 1967.
It´s open for visitors and you will have to take a lift up as the staircase is closed to visitors at the time of writing.
there is a really good view of the olod part of town from the top of the Galata tower aswell as a cafe there and i think it´s worth the 10 Lira entrance fee.
Dominating the Beyoğlu skyline for nearly 700 years, this fortified Tower was named Christea Turris when it was built by the Genoese in 1348. Its construction was part of the fortifications of Galata, hence the name Galata Tower (or Galata Kulesi in Turkish), a colony established north of the Golden Horn by the Republic of Genoa from the 13th to the 15th centuries. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the tower was turned into a prison for a while. Today, it is a remarkable tourist attraction with a restaurant offering panoramic views at its top.