"Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower)" Galata Tower Tip by hekate

Galata Tower, Istanbul: 99 reviews and 234 photos

  Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower)
by hekate

Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower) is providing a panoramic view of the old town and at present houses a restaurant and a night club.

According to a brochure I had seen, the panorama balcony is open to the public from 09.00 to 17.00 h. So, you could go up there and take some wonderful pictures of Istanbul. I think that it is not free of charge, though.

The panorama balcony, encircling the highest row of windows is really narrow. It is impossible two people to walk next to each other. As you can guess it is open air and if you are suffering from acrophobia - fear of heights, I would not recommand you to go out there. I myself was pretty nervouse while being on the balcony and I entered inside quickly :).

Some facts about the tower:

- Built in 1348 as the "Christea Turris" (Tower of Christ) by Genoese colonists at the highest point of the citadel of Galata - which was then a Genoese colony independent from Constantinople.

- The 66.90 meter tower (62.59 m without the ornament on top) was the city's tallest building when built. It is still one of Istanbul's main landmarks, standing at the highest point of the medieval Genoese Quarter and visible from almost any part of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

- The tower was known by the Byzantines as "Megalos Pyrgos" (The Great Tower). Later, during part of the Ottoman era the public called it "Hezarfen Tower" after Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi.

- In 1638 Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi glided on artificial wings from the top of the tower to the slopes of Chrysopolis (Scutari) on the Asian side - becoming one of the first men in history to fly. He was awarded a vast quantity of gold by Sultan Murad IV, but later exiled to Algeria for witchcraft.

- In the Byzantine period, Galata Tower controlled one end of the massive sea chain which closed the entrance of the Golden Horn.

Address: Beyoglu / Galata, Kuledibi Square
Directions: Near Karakoy
Phone: 212 293 8180
Website: http://www.galatakulesi.org

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 22, 2005
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