The Galata Tower is a must-see monument in Istanbul located on the European side and visible from all points of view! We find the tower more precisely in the Beyoglu district, not far from Istiklal Street.
Galata Tower – its evolution
It was built in 1348 by the Genoese merchants, in order to be able to control the commercial fleets. As a result, it also bore the name of “Christea Turris” (“Tower of Christ”). Later, under the Ottoman Empire, in 1453, Sultan Mehmet II transformed it into a fire observation tower. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, meanwhile, made the tower a prison. His successor Murat III turned it into an astronomical observation tower. Finally, in the 1960s, the Tower hosted a restaurant and a performance hall.
Galata Tower – the anecdote
In 1632, Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi, an Ottoman inventor, wanted to prove to the world that man could fly. He jumped from the top of the Tower and flew to Uskudar on the Asian side, using the wings he had created himself. Although the event created much excitement in the empire, it somewhat frightened Sultan Murat IV’s advisers who then thought he was capable of anything. He was thus exiled to Algeria, where he died two years later at the age of 31.
Galata Tower – Architecture and visit
The tower rises over 9 floors (68m). Under the Ottomans, the tower surpassed all other buildings in Istanbul. The only way to reach the heights is to take an elevator to the 7th floor, then continue the walking tour to the 9th floor. At the top, a dazzling panorama of the Golden Horn will unfold before your eyes. There is a restaurant within the Tower where you can quench your thirst but also enjoy a good Turkish meal.
The Galata Tower – Essential Information
Open all year round from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Single entry price: 25 TL. It is owned by the municipality of Istanbul so the Museum Card cannot be used. You can get to the monument by taking the vapur (boat) direction Karaköy and then walking for about fifteen minutes in the Sishane district. It is also possible to take the Tunel (2nd oldest metro system in the world), 5 minutes from the Tower. Take advantage of the road to admire the alleys loaded with street art and small independent designer shops. This is a rather innovative and somewhat upscale corner. The place is also famous for its pensions and luxury hotels.
Have a good visit !