Historical Galata Tower in Istanbul


Information about Galata Tower

Galata Tower is tourists’ compass visiting Turkey; it is a tourist monument and a witness of its time. It is one of the historic city’s most ancient and charming towers, which still stands tall, attracting locals and foreigners to take photo ops. With its majestic highness, it offers a panoramic view of Istanbul at 67 meters high for a charming scene of the city.

Where is Galata Tower Located?

Galata Tower is located in Taksim on the European side of Istanbul.

Galata Tower’s Story

There was no accurate information when the charming Galata Tower was built. According to some old Turkish sources, the tower was built in 507 AD and was restored at the Ottoman Empire reign in 1509 after Istanbul’s earthquake by the Ottoman architect, Khair Eldin, one of the famous architect Sinan’s students.

Turks are still telling an intriguing tale about Galata Tower. As per the tale, the tower was the chosen place by Hezarfen Ahmed Chalabi, who lived during the 17th century, using hand-made wings for the first flying attempt.

It is said that Ismail Jawhari, who lived in the 10th century, was the first inspiration for Chalabi to attempt flying, as Chalabi worked on analyzing and checking results by Jawhari; he also worked on checking the wings’ durability in Okmeydani in Istanbul before flying attempt.

As per the Turkish legend, Chalabi installed the hand-made wings in 1632 on a windy day and was able to fly from Galata Tower towards Uskudar for 3358 meters to be one of the most famous Turkish characters who tried flying.

Information about Galata Tower

Galata Tower from Inside

Galata Tower comprises nine floors; visitors can use the elevator to reach the 7th floor, then use stairs to get to the following two floors. On the 9th floor, there is a restaurant and a circular balcony with views of Istanbul’s districts such as Fatih, Eminonu, Uskudar, Taksim, and the Marmara Sea Bay.

The tower is 66.90 meters high; its exterior diameter is 16.45 meters, while its interior diameter is 8.95 meters, and the thickness of its walls is 3.75 meters. The tower is run by a private tourism agent to organize tourists’ visits from all around the world.

A group of employees welcomes visitors as they enter the first floor, guide them on how to have tickets, have a tour in the tower, and use the elevator, which fits six people. There are also, on the first floor, small tourist shops selling souvenirs to tourists.

On the 8th floor, there are some WCs and a photo studio for taking photo ops, printing them, and handing them on the spot.  

The tower’s administration does not pose any time limit for the tourists’ tour, but there are some entry fees.

Galata Tower’s Story

How to Get to Galata Tower?

You can get to Galata Tower from Taksim Square via Independence Street. Or you can use Tramway towards Eminonu station, then walk towards the tower.

FAQs about Galata Tower

Why is Galata Tower one of Istanbul’s Most Prominent Monuments?

Galata Tower is Istanbul’s most prominent monument not only due to its gorgeous architectural beauty but also its historic status. With its exterior walls, three meters thick, and pyramid roof, Galata Tower dates back to 1500 years. It witnessed wars, sieges, conquests, earthquakes, fires, and plague. The tower has become a destination for groups of tourists to enjoy the charm of Istanbul. Not to mention, the tower can be seen from many places in the city, such as Fatih, Taksim, Eyupsultan, Uskudar, and Camlica.

Is Visiting Galata Tower Free of Charge?

Istanbul municipality charges visitors reasonable fees; tourists pay 7 dollars while Turks pay 4 dollars.

What for was Galata Tower Used?

According to Turkish sources, Galata Tower was used as a prison for workers at the shipyard who were sentenced to hard labor during the reign of Sultan Suleyman Kanuni.

The tower was used as an astronomy observatory by the scientist Taki Eddin Effendi during the 16th century, then again as a prison during the reign of Sultan Murad III. 

It also was used by Hezarfen Ahmed Chalabi, who lived in the 17th century, as a point for the first flight attempt using hand-made wings.

How Old is Galata Tower?

With its exterior walls, three meters thick, and pyramid roof, Galata Tower dates back to 1500 years.

 

How High is Galata Tower?

The tower is 66.90 meters high; its exterior diameter is 16.45 meters, while its interior diameter is 8.95 meters, and the thickness of its walls is 3.75 meters.

How to Get to Galata Tower from Sultan Ahmed?

You can get to Galata Tower from Sultan Ahmed by tramway, then walking from Eminonu station towards it for about 20 minutes. Or you can take a taxi to the nearest point, then continue walking, enjoying the iron bridge and old places near the tower.

Galata Tower’s location

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Edited by Safaraq

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