The Galata Tower, also known as Galata Kulesi, is a landmark in Istanbul that is hard to miss. This nine-story tower stands at 66.90 meters tall and was the tallest building when it was built in 1348, during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. The tower was also known as the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and the Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines.
It is important to note that the Galata Tower was not the first tower in Constantinople as it was built to replace the Old Tower of Galata (Megalos Pyrgos/Great Tower), which controlled the northern end of the sea chain that closed the entrance to the Golden Horn Bay (Haliç).
Throughout history, the Galata Tower has undergone several restorations due to earthquakes in 1509, fires in 1794 and 1831, and a big storm in 1875. Historically, the tower primarily functioned as an observatory and prison during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
According to the book records (Seyahatname) of the famous Ottoman historian and traveller Evliya Celebi, the Galata Tower was used by Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, who flew as an early aviator using artificial wings from this tower across the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar (around six kilometers distance) on the Anatolian side in 1638, during the reign of Murad V.
Today, the Galata Tower is a popular tourist attraction, featuring a restaurant and café on its upper floors that offer a panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. There are two operating elevators that take visitors from the lower level to the 7th floor, and the last two floors of the tower must be climbed by stairs.
Visitors to the Galata Tower can take in the stunning views from the observation deck on the 7th floor, which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Istanbul. The views from the top of the tower are truly breathtaking and offer an unparalleled perspective of the city. Visitors can also explore the tower’s history by visiting the exhibition on the 6th floor which displays artifacts and information about the tower’s past.
The Galata Tower’s restaurant and café on the 8th floor are also popular among visitors. The restaurant offers traditional Turkish cuisine and a variety of international dishes, while the café serves a selection of coffee, tea, and desserts. The restaurant and café offer a unique dining experience as they both have outdoor terraces that offer beautiful views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
In conclusion, Galata tower is a must-see attraction in Istanbul. Its history, panoramic view, restaurant and café, and guided tours all make it a unique and memorable experience. If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul, be sure to include a visit to the Galata Tower. Don’t miss the chance to visit Galata tower and other historical sites in Istanbul with Tour Maker Turkey. Contact us today to book your tour!