Galata Tower – Istanbul Attractions
Galata Tower Information
Galata Tower was built by a Genoese colony in 1348 as a part of their fortifications. From the early 13th century, after the fourth crusade, there had been a Genoese settlement in the city, as Latin Kings had been in power from 1204 – 1216.
Those who built the tower were the descendants of these crusaders, and the Galata Tower is the only surviving remnant of that colony today. It stands an obvious landmark gracing the sky, rising out of present day Beyoglu, overlooking the Golden Horn and across to the Asian shores.
Galata Tower & Galata Quarter
The surrounding quarter nurtured a whole diversity of European ethnic minorities which flourished there in the nineteenth century, among them Armenians, Venetians, Jews and Greeks it was from this ever expanding mixed foreign quarter that Pera blossomed and bloomed to its European-ness.
This lone foreign colony, virtually on the doorstep of the Golden Horn, was warily regarded by those inhabitants and hence Galata was denoted as ‘Pera’, derived from a Greek word meaning ‘opposite shore’.
An interesting tale associated with the Galata Tower tells of how one enthusiastic inventor by name of Hazerfan Ahmet Celebi, clipped two homemade wings to himself in the sixteenth century and leapt off the upper tower environs, successfully gliding all the way across the Bosphorus to the town of Uskudar unscathed, and rendering it one of the first flights.
Today it hosts a restaurant and nightclubs but be sure to take a ride up in the towers modern lift and venture outdoors to the panoramic balcony. from which there are breathtaking views over the Golden Horn, Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the brightly colored tiles of Galata’s own residences.
Architect / Style: Genoese style Open Days: Every day, 9am – 8pm, (or restaurant stays open until midnight). Recommended The Ultimate Tour – Old City & Bosphorus in 1 Day – See as much as possible!
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