Galata Tower in Istanbul - a landmark observation tower
Location show on map
Bereketzade, 34421 Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey
Date of build
1384 - 1349
Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi) is one of the most characteristic buildings in Istanbul. This tower has witnessed many important moments in the city's history and has served various functions over the centuries.
The first version of the tower was built by the Byzantines in 1348. Its main purpose was to form part of the defensive fortifications of the city of Constantinople. In 1348, the tower was about 12 metres high.
After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the tower was used as an observation post and watchtower.
During the Ottoman period, the tower also had civil functions, such as serving as a watchtower for fires and a place for astronomical observations.
In the 17th century, Galata Tower became a prison for dangerous criminals. It was one of the more famous prison buildings in Istanbul.
Today, Galata Tower is primarily a popular tourist destination. The tower has restaurants and vantage points that offer amazing views of the Istanbul skyline, including the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and Old Constantinople.
The current height of Galata Tower is approximately 67 metres, but the original version was lower at 25 metres. After numerous renovations, including a fire in the 19th century, the tower was raised in 1967.
There are nine floors in the tower, including an observation deck at the top at 52 metres, which can be accessed by lift or by climbing 146 stairs.
In 1875, during a severe storm, the tower lost its roof, which was not repaired for almost a century. It was not until a major renovation carried out between 1965 and 1967 that the tower's iconic roof was restored.
The diameter of the tower is about 16.45 metres and its walls are about 3.75 metres thick.
Galata Tower represents an architectural style described as Byzantine-Genuine. It has a circular form and its brick walls are decorated with Gothic-style details. Its distinctive circular form and architectural style influenced the design of other towers, including the famous Maiden's Tower on the Bosphorus.
The Galata Tower frequently appears in literature, films and other cultural works associated with Istanbul. It is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city.
The tower is illuminated at night, which adds to its charm and makes it even more visible at night in the city skyline. For this reason, it hosts many special events such as concerts and fireworks displays, especially during the New Year.
During the lift ride to the top of the building, the sound of historic bells can be heard, which adds to the atmosphere of the visit.
Official website: https://muze.gen.tr/muze-detay/galatakulesi