Galata Tower

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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 – this is the place that gives you the best panoramic views of Istanbul as well as the most spectacular views of the Bosphorus. You can also enjoy the view of the Marmara Sea, the Topkapi Palace, the Golden Horn from the tower. You can even see the Princes’ Islands, Hagia Sofia and the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) from there.

Istanbul is an endless fairytale. Its stories, the result of its rich history and culture, are ones that always attract visitors’ attention. The city that spreads on two cintinents, Europe and Asia and has witnessed different civilizations and cultures is inviting to be discovered. Among its many interesting stories are the ones with towers in them. Do you remember the story about Rapunzel who got locked in a tower? A young girl that was all alone in the tower. And Istanbul with its Galata Tower has stories of beauty, agony and joy. However, Istanbul is not like the other cities. One of the best ways to get to know it is with Istanbul guided private tours. As the ‘main character’ of the private tours id the Tower, it’s worth joining them.

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Get on the wings of private guided Istanbul tour

Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s significant and notable landmarks. It is on the European side, in Old Pera (or Beyoglu district), where Golden Horn meets the Bosphorus. Emperor Aastasius built this old and important monument in 507. Originally, it was a lighthouse and people knew it as the Lighthouse Tower. Later, in 1348, Genoese colonists rebuilt the tower as the ’Tower of Christ’ (Christea Turris in Latin). They did it at the highest point of the citadel of Galata district of Istanbul. The nine-storey tower is 66.90 metres high. Also, it was the city’s highest structure when they built it. It is 35 metres above the sea level. The Galata Tower has an external diameter of 16.45 metres at the base. The diametre inside is 8.95 metres. And the walls are 3.75 metres thick. One can enjoy the four parts of Istanbul from the tower. People can see the Golden Horn, the Suleyman’ Mosque, Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. Not only that but also the Spice Market and the Bosphorus.

Does ‘Galata’ name come from Greek or Italian, or …

The name Galata becomes famous with the construction of Galata Tower. That happened at the end of the 6th century. There is no agreement as to where the name comes from. Some link it to the Greek word ‘galaktos’ (milk) because of the dairy farms in the area at that time. Others say that it comes from the Italian word for ‘calata’, which means ‘stairs, steps’. This is quite possible as for the fact that Galata is set on a slightly steep hill. However, there is a third group that claims that the name comes from the presence of the Galatians who stormed the city in 279 BC. Wherever the name comes from, the more important thing is that a curious building survivied till present days.

Galata Tower and its different roles

To start with, in the 6th century people used it to monitor ships in the surrounding waters. They controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance to the Golden Horn. Later, in the 16th century the Galata Tower became a dungeon for the prisoners of war who worked for private services of the Sultan. At one point in time it used to be a fire-control station as well. On private guided Istanbul tour you will learn many interesting things about Galata Tower. As a private tour, a tour guide Turkey is recommended.

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The Galata Tower suffered extensive damages in the fire of Galata in 1832. In 1875, a storm destroyed its conic rooftop and the tower was without one in the Ottoman era. That was until 1965 when Mahmut the Second undertook the restoration work of the tower and reonstructed the conical roof. That continued till 1967. People then used the Galata Tower as a sign tower. Its last restoration was in 1990 and was open to the public as a tourist attraction soon after.

He did it only once and did he survive

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 simply attached wings to his body and flew. He jumped from the tower overflowing the Bosphorus and landed at Uskudar after covering a distance of six kilometres.

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? Contact me and let me help you find out while on private guided Istanbul tour.

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