"Beyazit tower (Beyazit Kulesi)" Beyazit District Tip by hekate
Beyazit District, Istanbul: 5 reviews and 12 photos
You will find the Beyazit Tower close to Suleymaniye Mosque. It is actually withing the walls of the Istanbul University - in the courtyard.
I am still not sure if it is alowed to go trough the gates of the university if you are a tourist. There is a soldier sitting there and stopping the tourists from getting into the courtyard of the university. But when I explained that I just want to take a picture of the tower he let me in. Then a group of Americans asked him to do the same as me and he refused. So, the bottom line is that if you want to have a closer look at the tower and get a picture you should try your luck and see what happens :)
Some history and facts:
Two earlier timber fire towers were swallowed up by flames, but the present Beyazit Tower made of stone bas survived since 1828.
Standing in the midst of the old quarter of Istanbul, it is still used as a fire tower today as in the past. The tower is 85 meters high and bas a total of 256 wooden steps.
The architect was Senekerim Balyan, one of the renowned architectural dynasty, and he replaced an earlier wooden tower built by his brother Kirkor Balyan.
In 1909 the tower was struck by lightning during a storm, but suffered no serious damage.
Until 1972, the tower was open to the public, but had to be closed to all except fire brigade personnel when the staircase proved unsafe.
Today, the tower is also used to give a weather forecast for the following day. A green light means rain, a red light snow, a yellow light fog, and a blue light sunshine, At night, between 04.45 and 06.00 when the Ataturk and Galata bridges are closed to road traffic to let ships in and out of the Golden Horn, the ships are guided by lights on Beyazit Tower. A green light means that ships in the Golden Horn can sail into the Marmara Sea, and a red light that ships in the Marmara Sea can sail into the Golden Horn. Two red lights mean that the bridges are closed to shipping.
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