Symbols of Istanbul: Galata Tower

Galata Tower is one of the first symbols that come to mind when Istanbul is mentioned. Let’s examine the history of Galata Tower, which is an integral part of the skyline of Istanbul, the most beautiful city in the world, and the legends about the tower.

Galata Tower History and Features

A Byzantine Artifact from 528

Galata Tower is one of the oldest towers in the world. It was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius in 528 as a lighthouse tower.

Damaged and almost completely destroyed during the Crusades in 1204, the tower was repaired by the Genoese in 1348. The Genoese, who raised the Galata Tower, named the tower “the Tower of Christ”.

Galata has been used in many different ways throughout its history. The shelter for prisoners of war in the 16th century, Sultan III. It was used as an observatory during the Murat period and as a fire tower since 1717.

Galata Tower has been damaged and repaired many times throughout its history. III. In a fire that broke out during the Selim period, most of the tower was burned. It was damaged by another fire in 1831 and was repaired again. In 1875, the cone of the tower was knocked down due to a storm. The repair, which gave the tower its current appearance, was completed in 1967.

Tallest Building of Istanbul

The tower, which was raised with additional supports between 1445 and 1446, was the tallest structure in Istanbul. Its height is 69.90 meters from the ground to the tip of the roof.

According to the static calculations, the tower, which is 10,000 tons, is very magnificent despite its simple design.

Skulls and human bones were found during research in the pits on the floor of the tower. It appears that once there was a dungeon under the tower.

galata tower

Galata Tower Legends

Galata Tower, the symbol of Istanbul; It is home to many legends proven by imagination and historical documents. Let’s look at some of these legends.

Genoese sailors who came to Istanbul for the first time are told that a white seagull guides in the dark. The Genoese identified this seagull with the Prophet Jesus. One day, after following him to his nest, he catches, bakes and eats. They build the Galata Tower where its nest is located, for his memory.

According to another legend; They say you marry the person you go to Galata Tower with. This legend is from the Roman period. According to this belief; A couple who went to Galata Tower for the first time together would definitely get married. If one of the parties has been to the tower before, this talisman is broken.

In another legend, Galata Tower and Maiden’s Tower are in love with each other, but the Bosphorus between them prevents lovers from meeting. Galata Tower writes his love in letters for years and puts his longing for the Maiden’s Tower into words. When Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi goes to the tower to fly, Galata Tower whispers his love for the Maiden’s Tower in his ear and gives the letters to him. Taking the wind behind him, Hezarfen delivers the letters to the Maiden’s Tower. Thus, the Maiden’s Tower realizes that her love is not one-sided. These two lovers create the most beautiful view of Istanbul.

galata tower and maiden's tower

Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi Flies From Galata

Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, who made his first flight experience by wearing wooden wings on his arms, left himself in the void from the Galata Tower.

According to what the famous Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi told; Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew from the top of the Galata Tower with the southwester and landed in Üsküdar.

How To Get To Galata Tower?

Galata Tower is located in the lower part of Beyoğlu and above Karaköy. You can reach the tower in 5 minutes by walking on Istiklal Street after getting off the metro at Şişhane stop.

If you are in Karaköy, you can reach Taksim by using the tunnel and reach Galata Tower, which is a 5-minute walk away.

Those who come by car, on the Tarlabaşı Taksim road, can turn right when they see the Galata Tower sign and leave their cars in a nearby parking lot.

Galata Tower Entrance Fee and Visiting Hours

Galata Tower Entrance Fee and Visiting Hours

The visiting hours of the Galta Tower are between 9:00 and 19:00. The entrance fee is 10 TL for Turkish people, 5 TL for students and 25 TL for tourists.

A Terrace Restaurant With Istanbul View

There is a restaurant on the upper floor of the tower. You can watch the unique view of Istanbul in this restaurant, which is not too expensive and has a unique menu of Turkish cuisine.

The restaurant takes the last order at 10 am, and the cafe closes at 20:30.