Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) is a medieval stone tower situated in the bustling Istanbul district of Galata. This medieval attraction occupies a prominent place in the city’s history and rewards visitors with stunning views if they climb to the top.
Galata Tower’s roots stretched right back to the sixth century when the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius built the Lighthouse Tower. Originally, the tower was made of wood, but when the Genoese took it in 1348 and rebuilt the tower with stone and named it the Tower of Christ. At the time, Galata was a walled Genoese trading colony in Constantinople, the old name for Istanbul.
After the Ottoman Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Galata Tower was used as a dungeon and then an observatory. In the 17th century, the early aviator Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi is said to have launched himself from Galata Tower with wooden wings. He flew across the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia in 1638, thus inaugurating the first ever intercontinental flight. 100 years later, it became a watch tower that helped to spot fires breaking out around the city.
Today, visitors can climb Galata Tower to its viewing platform. The tower is 66m tall and offers guests breathtaking panoramas of Istanbul. From the tower, many of the city’s major sights are visible, including the Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque and the famous Golden Horn, which separates Istanbul’s European and Asian halves.
Galata is widely considered to be Istanbul’s modern centre, so travellers will find many things to do near the tower.
Bereketzade Mh. Galata Kulesi, 34420 Beyoğlu, Istanbul / Tel. +90 212 293 8180
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