Galata Tower



The Galata Tower ( tr, Galata Kulesi), officially the Galata Kulesi Museum ( tr, Galata Kulesi Müzesi), is an old Genoese
tower A tower is a tall Nonbuilding structure, structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from guyed mast, masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting ...
in the Galata part of the Beyoğlu district of
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with ...
. Built as a
watchtower A watchtower or watch tower is a type of fortification used in many parts of the world. It differs from a regular tower in that its primary use is military and from a turret in that it is usually a freestanding structure. Its main purpose is to ...
at the highest point of the (lost) Walls of Galata, the tower is now an exhibition space and museum, and a symbol of Beyoğlu and Istanbul.


During the Byzantine period the Emperor Justinian had a tower erected in what was to become Galata. This tower was destroyed during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. In 1267 a Genoese colony was established in the Galata part of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad ( Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis (" ...
. It was surrounded by walls and the Galata Tower was first built at their highest point as the ''Christea Turris'' (Tower of Christ) in
Romanesque style Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later ...
in 1348 during an expansion of the colony. At the time the Galata Tower, at , was the tallest building in the city.Katie Hallam (2009). ''The Traveler's Atlas: Europe''. London: Barron's Educational Series.(2009), p. 118-119. After the Turkish
Conquest of Constantinople The Fall of Constantinople, also known as the Conquest of Constantinople, was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Empire. The city fell on 29 May 1453 as part of the culmination of a 53-day siege which had begun o ...
in 1453, the Genoese colony was abolished and the walls pulled down. The tower was allowed to survive and was turned into a prison. It was from its roof that, in 1638, Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi supposedly strapped on wings and made the first intercontinental flight, landing in the Doğancılar Meydanı in
Üsküdar Üsküdar () is a large and densely populated district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered to the north by Beykoz, to the east by Ümraniye, to the southeast by Ataşehir and to the south by Kadıköy; w ...
on the Asian side of the city, a story of doubtful authenticity recounted by the Ottoman travel writer,
Evliya Çelebi Derviş Mehmed Zillî (25 March 1611 – 1682), known as Evliya Çelebi ( ota, اوليا چلبى), was an Ottoman explorer who travelled through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty years, recording ...
. From 1717, the Ottomans used the tower to look out for fires (on the Old Istanbul side of the city the
Beyazıt Tower Beyazıt Tower, also named Seraskier Tower, from the name of the Ottoman ministry of War, is an fire-watch tower located in the courtyard of Istanbul University's main campus (formerly Ottoman Ministry of War) on Beyazıt Square (known as the ...
served the same function). In 1794, during the reign of Sultan Selim III, the roof was reinforced in lead and wood, but the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, after which further restoration work took place. In 1875, the tower's conical roof was destroyed during a "Galata Kulesi: Kısa Tarihçe"
It remained without this roof for the rest of the Ottoman period but, many years later, during restoration work between 1965 and 1967, the conical roof was reconstructed. At the same time the tower's wooden interior was replaced with a concrete structure and it was opened to the public. In 2020 the Tower was controversially restored then reopened as a museum. "Istanbul’s iconic tower reopens after restoration"
Hurriyet Daily News, 7 October 2020. (Retrieved 27 November 2022.)
It is mainly popular for the 360-degree view of Istanbul visible from its observation deck.


The nine-story tower is excluding the ornament on the top. The observation deck is at . The tower is above sea-level. It has an external diameter of at the base, an inside diameter of , and walls that are thick.


File:The Galata Tower in Liber insularum Archipelagi (1420s-1430s).jpg, Galata Tower after Cristoforo Buondelmonti, 1420s or 1430s File:The Galata Tower in Liber insularum Archipelagi, Düsseldorf copy.png, Galata Tower after Cristoforo Buondelmonti, 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 combat sport of ''Matrak'' which was invented by himself, (also known as ''Nasuh el-Silâhî'', ''Nasuh the Swordsman'', ...
, 1537 File:French galleys of Captain Polin in front of Pera at Constantinople in August 1544.jpg, Galata Tower and Pera by
Jérôme Maurand Jérôme Maurand was a 16th-century French priest of Antibes, who accompanied the French officer Captain Polin in conjunction with the Ottoman fleet of Barbarossa in 1544, as a part of the Franco-Ottoman alliance. Five French galleys under Capta ...
, 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
Antoine Ignace Melling Antoine Ignace Melling (27 April 1763 – November 1831) was a painter, architect and voyager who is counted among the “Levantine Artists”. He is famous for his vedute of Constantinople, a town where he lived for 18 years. He was imperial ar ...
, 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: link=no, Иван Константинович Айвазовский; 29 July 18172 May 1900) was a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art. Baptized a ...
, 1846 File:Galata Tower.jpg, Albumen print of the Galata Tower by
Pascal Sébah Pascal Sébah (1823–1886) was a photographer in Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Cairo, who produced a prolific number of images of Egypt, Turkey and Greece to serve the tourist trade. Life and work Pascal Sébah was born in Constantinople ...
, 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 Ottoman fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving ...
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 Eu ...


Further reading

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The Apes Of Galata
- NFT Projesi (23 Nisan 2022)

External links

Video "Galata Tower, aerial video (4k Ultra HD)"
{{Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey Towers in Istanbul 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