The Galata Tower ( tr, Galata Kulesi) or with the current official name Galata Kulesi Museum ( tr, Galata Kulesi Müzesi) is a
tower A tower is a tall structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rul ...

in the
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, ...
district of
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

. It's namesake is the quarter that it's located,
Galata Galata is the former name of the Karaköy neighbourhood in Istanbul, which is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The district is connected to the historic Fatih district by several bridges that cross the Golden Horn, most notably ...

. Built as a
watchtower A watchtower is a type of fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from La ...

as a part of the Walls of Galata, the tower is currently being used as an exhibition place and a museum. It's one of the symbols of Beyoğlu and Istanbul.


Romanesque style Romanesque architecture is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of Style (visual arts), style in ...
tower was built as ''Christea Turris'' ("Tower of Christ") in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

. Galata Tower was the tallest building in Constantinople at when it was built in 1348.Katie Hallam (2009). ''The Traveler's Atlas: Europe''. London: Barron's Educational Series.(2009), p. 118-119. The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires. Starting from 1717, the Ottomans began to use the tower for spotting fires in the city. In 1794, during the reign of Sultan
Selim III Selim III ( ota, سليم ثالث ''Selim-i sâlis'') (24 December 1761 – 28 July 1808) was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning ...
, the roof of the tower was made of lead and wood, and the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, upon which a new restoration work took place. In 1875, during a storm, the conical roof on the top of the building was destroyed.Galatakulesi.org: "Galata Kulesi: Kısa Tarihçe"
The tower remained without this conical roof for the rest of the Ottoman period. Many years later, during the restoration works between 1965 and 1967, the conical roof was reconstructed. During this final restoration in the 1960s, the wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was commercialized and opened to the public. Galata Tower was included in World Heritage temporary list in Turkey by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

in 2013.


The nine-story tower is ( without the ornament on top, at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is above sea-level. The tower has an external diameter of at the base, an inside diameter of , and walls that are thick. The tower replaces an earlier Galata Tower that was built in 528 during the Byzantine Empire. This tower was destroyed during the Crusades. There was a restaurant and café on its upper floors which have views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub that hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels.


File:The Galata Tower in Liber insularum Archipelagi (1420s-1430s).jpg, Galata Tower after
Cristoforo Buondelmonti Cristoforo Buondelmonti (1386 – c. 1430) was an Italy, Italian Franciscan priest and traveler, and a pioneer in promoting first-hand knowledge of Greece and its antiquities throughout the Western world. He left his native city of Florence, in Tu ...
, 1420s or 1430s File:The Galata Tower in Liber insularum Archipelagi, Düsseldorf copy.png, Galata Tower after
Cristoforo Buondelmonti Cristoforo Buondelmonti (1386 – c. 1430) was an Italy, Italian Franciscan priest and traveler, and a pioneer in promoting first-hand knowledge of Greece and its antiquities throughout the Western world. He left his native city of Florence, in Tu ...
, late 1480s File:Matrakçı Nasuh - İstanbul (cropped-Galata).jpg, Galata Tower and Pera by
Matrakçı Nasuh Nasuh bin Karagöz bin Abdullah el-Visokavi el-Bosnavî, commonly known as Matrakçı Nasuh (; ) for his competence in the game of Matrak, invented by himself, (also known as ''Nasuh el-Silâhî'', ''Nasuh the Swordsman'', because of his talent w ...
, 1537 File:French galleys of Captain Polin in front of Pera at Constantinople in August 1544.jpg, Galata Tower and Pera by Jérôme Maurand, 1544 File:Tour de Galatas - Lucas Paul - 1720.jpg, Galata Tower by Paul Lucas, 1720 File:Veduta della Torre di Galata da Settentrione - Comidas Cosimo - 1794.jpg, Galata Tower by Cosimo Comidas, 1794 File:Vue d'une partie de la ville de Constantinople, avec la pointe du Sérail, prise du Faubourg de Péra; Résidence des mi - Melling Antoine Ignace - 1819 (cropped).jpg, Galata Tower by , 1819 File:Galata Tower (Francois Lemaitre, 1840).jpg, Galata Tower by , 1840 File:View of constantinople by evening light.jpg, Galata Tower by
Ivan Aivazovsky Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (russian: Иван Константинович Айвазовский; hy, Հովհաննես Այվազյան; 29 July 18172 May 1900) was a Russian Romanticism, Romantic painter who is considered one of the ...

Ivan Aivazovsky
, 1846 File:Galata Tower.jpg, Albumen print of the Galata Tower by Pascal Sébah, between 1875 and 1886 File:Night_Istanbul.jpg, Galata Tower at night

See also

Anadoluhisarı Anadoluhisarı ( en, Anatolian Castle), known historically as Güzelce Hisar ("the Beauteous Castle") is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving Turkish ar ...

Rumelihisarı Rumelihisarı (also known as Rumelian Castle and Roumeli Hissar Castle) or Boğazkesen Castle (meaning "Strait-Blocker Castle" or literally "Throat-Cutter Castle") is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey, on a series of hills on the Eur ...


Further reading

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External links

Video "Galata Tower, aerial video (4k Ultra HD)"
{{Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey Towers in Turkey Buildings and structures in Beyoğlu Golden Horn Romanesque architecture Buildings and structures completed in 1348 Tourist attractions in Istanbul Fortified towers 14th-century establishments in the Byzantine Empire Round towers 1348 establishments in Europe World Heritage Tentative List for Turkey