Guided Istanbul tour – Enjoy the best views of Istanbul!
Pivate guided Istanbul tour like to introduce you the dungeon of the past, the tourist attraction of today. A fortress, an observation tower, a fire-control station… Why not a temptation for those who believe they can fly?! The Galata Tower – the place that gives you the best panoramic views of Istanbul, the most spectacular views of the Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea, the Topkapi Palace, the Golden Horn. You can even see the Princes’ Islands, Hagia Sofia and the Sultanahmet mosque (Blue Mosque) from there.
This old and important monument was built in 507 by Emperor Aastasius. Originally it was a lighthouse and it was known as the Lighthouse Tower. Later, in 1348, the tower was rebuilt at the highest point of the citadel of Galata district of Istanbul by Genoese colonists as the ’Tower of Christ’ (Christea Turris in Latin). The nine-storey tower is 66.90 metres tall. And it was the city’s tallest structure when it was built. It is 35 metres above the sea level. The Galata Tower has an external diameter of 16.45 metres at the base, 8.95 metres diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75 metres thick.
Galata Tower was a dungeon
In the 6th century it was used to monitor ships in the surrounding waters. Later, in the 16th century the Galata Tower was a dungeon for the prisoners of war who used to work for private services of the Sultan. At one point in time it used to be a fire-control station. On private guided Istanbul tour you will learn many an interesting things about Galata Tower.
The Galata Tower suffered extensive damages in the fire of Galata in 1832. In 1875, its conic rooftop was destroyed in a storm and the tower was without one in the Ottoman era. The restoration work of the tower was undertaken by Mahmut the Second. And the Galata Tower was used as a sign tower. Its last restoration was in 1967.
The Ottomans called this tower ‘Hezarfen Tower’ named after Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi. In the 17 century, he became the first man in the history to fly when he glided from the tower top to Uskudar using wooden wings. He jumped from the tower overflowing the Bosphorus and landed at Uskudar after covering a distance of six kilometers.
Many people visit the Galata Tower for its history but maybe the majority of people visit it for the stunning 360-degree views – both European and Asian sides. Many like to enjoy these breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, the Topkapi Palace, the Marmara Sea, the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge, the Sultanahmet mosque…
Which one are you? You can find out while on private guided Istanbul tour.