Galata Tower, one of Istanbul’s symbols, is drawing the attention of many local and foreign tourists with its grandeur and mystery. If you have not still visited Galata Tower, which has been visited in any case by both locals of Istanbul and people living outside of it, how about taking the road with car rental options? The History of the Galata Tower / Where is the Galata Tower article was prepared by the Yolcu360 team.
Where is the Galata Tower?
Galata Tower address: Bereketzade, Galata Tower, 34421 Beyoğlu. It is found in the Galata quarter, from which the tower derives its name. The Galata Tower today serves as an observation terrace and restaurant. You can witness a magnificent scene of Istanbul from here. The tower, which is an ideal place to have a bird’s-eye look at the city, is one of the must-see attractions of Istanbul with its legends and architecture. By taking advantage of rental car options, you can visit this place in a comfortable and quick way.
We previously mentioned that the tower gave its name to the quarter. The history of the Galata quarter dates farther back than you would expect. The place used during the Roman period as a settlement had a legendary beauty. Constantine I, who was a Roman emperor during the 4th century even wanted to be buried at Galata after he died. During the 13th century, on the other side, a Genoese colony was built at Galata and the Genoese settled here. They had built walls around Galata and its surroundings. Galata even became an autonomous region for some time. Thanks to the ports, the Venetians also came to make a trade here.
Galata later did not lose its significance in the city that came under the control of the Ottomans. Mehmed the Conqueror allowed the Venetians and Genoese to make a trade here. However, since Galata was then a place with taverns and where non-Muslims lived, the Ottomans did not quite internalize it. With time, Galata became the center for banks and hotels. If you wonder about what happened to the walls, the last of these were demolished in 1864.
History of the Galata Tower
The tower also called the Christea Turris, was built by the Romans in 507 after Christ. Yet, it gained its current look thanks to the Genoese in the 14th century. The main building aim of the tower, which is 70 meters high and weighs 10 thousand tons, was observation. In other words, it is an observation tower built at the time to protect the area. The reason why it is called Christea Turris, is because the Genoese put a catholic cross. Yet, when Istanbul came under the rule of the Ottomans in the 15th century, this cross was removed. The tower which was previously used for observation, has been used as a prison and observatory in the 16th century. It was closed because Murad III did not favour the idea of an observatory.
The Galata Tower was started to be used for a new purpose in the 18th century. At that time fires happened frequently in Istanbul. It served as an observing tower to detect these fires and respond quickly, yet it also burned later on. It was repaired after this fire but it again caught fire. In the 19th century as a result of a strong wind it lost its roof. After renewed restoration works it gained its beauty one again.
Legends on the Galata Tower
The Galata Tower with its grandiosity and elegant architecture, has been the source of legends and myths just as many other structures in the world. The oldest one of these legends about the tower is on marriage. Firstly, let’s mention that this myth dates back to the Romans. It is such old. According to this myth, if a woman and man climb the tower together for the first time, they get married. However, there is one condition for this marriage to take place. Both the woman and the man have to be visiting the tower for the first time.
The other widely known legend is about the love between the Maiden’s Tower and Galata. It is said that Galata and the Maiden’s Tower were deeply in love. Yet, they could not rejoin each other because of the sea between them. This longing was growing by the day. As a result of this longing, the Galata Tower asked Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi to send letters it gathered for hundreds of years to the Maiden’s Tower. Ahmed Çelebi, on the other side, decided to climb the tower and fly from the European side to the Anatolian. Çelebi, who was flying in the sky, dropped the letters in the middle of the sea and the wind carried the letters to the Maiden’s Tower. After reading the letters, the Maiden’s Tower became sure of Galata’s love and started to become more beautiful. As she became more beautiful, the Galata Tower also understood that his love was reciprocated. Thanks to this love, both managed to stay standing for hundreds of years.