Friday, February 23, 2024

Galata Tower Istanbul

Open: everyday 08:30-23:00 / Ticket: 650 TL (2024 Jan) / Quite expensive 419295068 3296351213996367 6869273392323338205 n 1080 edited 1 Galata Tower Istanbul

About Galata Tower

A visit to Istanbul is incomplete without a trip to Galata. It is an unforgettable experience for every visitor. The area is not only fascinating due to its rich history, but also due to the beauty and charm of its neighbourhood.

galata tower at night Galata Tower Istanbul
Galata Tower Istanbul / Photo: Gülcan ACAR

Galata Tower, is one of the oldest towers in the world and one of the most important symbols of Istanbul. It was accepted in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2013. Galata Tower had been used as a fire watch tower for a long time and called Galata Fire Tower within this term.

When you think of Istanbul, a unique silhouette comes to mind first; Galata Tower. The contributions of this unique structure to Istanbul’s marvellous history and cultural heritage is priceless. Galata Tower, has been remembered by visitors with its beauty and structure that defies the years and of course the famous cafes nearby.

The Galata Tower has been the subject of numerous stories throughout history due to its prominence and its dominant position in the landscape of Istanbul. And of course; it has influenced the destiny of many people, even countries and their governments.

The Galata Tower has witnessed the most impressive stories and historical events since Roman times. Its appearance, history and heritage make it a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists.

In the seventeenth century, after Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi completed his flight from the Galata Tower in Üsküdar by attaching wooden wings to his back, it is known that the interest in the tower gradually increased.

Galata Tower Virtual Tour

Architecture of the Galata Tower

The Galata Tower was built in a masonry rubble stone lattice system. The exterior is stone masonry. The 16-line eulogy in the inscription at the entrance is thought to have been written in the name of Mahmut II since it was built during his reign.

The round arched window above the door was a place of observation for the soldiers. It is a nine-storey building after the high ground floor. The windows on the cylindrical body have round arches with brick masonry. The development of the last two floors just below the cone roof is emphasized by the profiled moldings surrounding the cylindrical body. There is an observation balcony with a metal ornamented network encircling the floor below the cone roof. On the lower floor, there are round arches resting on deep niche piers and round arched windows with brickwork inside.

Today, it is observed that the part of the building up to the third floor is Genoese and the other floors have Ottoman character. Today the building is used for social and cultural activities.

The Legend of Galata Tower

Along with its legendary history and cultural significance, Galata Tower has held a special place in people’s lives for centuries, inspiring countless legends. Among these, the tales of love hold a particularly special place, as they integrate the power of love with the tower’s romantic allure.

The story of Galata Tower’s love to the Maiden’s Tower is captivating. According to legend, Galata Tower is deeply in love with the Maiden’s Tower, and this love is the reason for Galata’s existence throughout all these centuries. According to legend, Galata’s love for the Maiden’s Tower causes the seas to overflow every time she visits. However, the Bosphorus prevents the two lovers from being together. 271840501 919597838559427 808973632564287969 n 1080 Galata Tower Istanbul


Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi comes to the rescue when the Galata Tower writes letters expressing its love: In the end, Galata gives the letters to Hezarfen, who climbs the tower to fly, and thus the Maiden’s Tower becomes aware of their love. Knowing that their feelings are mutual makes the Maiden’s Tower happy. These two lovers together represent the centuries-long happiness of the landscape that gives life to Istanbul.

hezarfen celebi Galata Tower Istanbul

History of Galata Tower

The current tower was built by the Genoese in the 14th century but the history of Galata Tower begins in the year 528. The tower was originally built as a lighthouse during the Byzantine era and has undergone many restoration and renovation throughout history.

The history and adventure of Galata Tower is a story that spans many wars, periods of peace, destruction, and existence. The tower was constructed in the Romanesque architectural style by the Genoese, and underwent significant changes over time. Today, it stands as a unique and beautiful structure, recognized as a cultural heritage site. Its rich history is a testament to Istanbul’s priceless cultural values.

Originally constructed as a lighthouse, Galata Tower has served various purposes throughout its history. It was used as a shelter for prisoners of war and as an observatory during the reign of Sultan Murad.

In 1717, the tower was repurposed as a fire tower, a role it has maintained for centuries. The tower has faced unfortunate circumstances, including damage from fires and storms that have required repairs to its body and cone. However, Istanbul persevered in rebuilding the Galata Tower after each destruction, resulting in its unique characteristics.

Who Built Galata Tower?

The tower was built in 528 by the order of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius. It has undergone numerous structural and architectural works throughout history. The most important structural restoration was made by the Genoese in 1348, which created the tower’s current silhouette.

The tower, first built in 528, has undergone numerous structural restorations. However, it was the reconstruction works in 1348, when the Genoese gave it its present masonry stone model, that have allowed Galata to stand as a unique part of the view for 674 years!

Galata Tower: What’s Inside?

galata tower surroundings Galata Tower Istanbul

Galata Museum

Before embarking on a trip to Galata Tower, it is important to know what awaits you inside. The tower houses the renowned Galata Museum, which contains numerous artefacts representing the diverse communities and empires that have inhabited these lands since prehistoric times. Afterwards, you can explore the important points of Istanbul through an interactive model.

Finally, you can learn about the history of Galata Tower with a video that tells the story of Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi. Once you have experienced this, you can enjoy the unique view from the terrace!

Where is Galata Tower?

It sits atop Karaköy and is easily accessible. The tower is located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul and is a popular attraction due to its interesting history and surrounding socio-cultural areas.

The Galata Tower’s central location makes it a dominant feature of Istanbul.To locate it, simply ask a passer-by in Beyoğlu, or just google it.

How to get there: By private car; You can reach by entering the Galata Tower sign on the left side as you exit Tarlabaşı road to Taksim. You can leave your car in the parking lots around the tower. By public transportation; First of all, you reach Taksim. Then, after crossing Istiklal Street from beginning to end, you can reach the tower about 500 meters below the end of the street. If you want to come from Eminönü, you can reach the tower by going up the slope from Bankalar Street via Karaköy road or you can use the tunnel.

Address: Bereketzade Mb. Büyük Hendek Caddesi, No: 2, Galata / Beyoğlu / Istanbul

Galata Tower opening hours are 9 AM – 7 PM daily.

To avoid crowds when visiting Galata Tower, it is recommended to go in the early morning hours.

Make sure to check the current visiting hours and entrance fees beforehand.
There are various means of transportation available, including the metro and buses. It is also possible to reach the area by car.

Places to visit in Istanbul



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