The iconic Galata Tower has dominated the skyline in northern Istanbul since antiquity. It is still easily spotted from the southern shores of the Golden Horn waterway.
Additionally, the observation deck of the Galata Tower provides striking panoramic views of the city landscape. All of the iconic relics of Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire can be spotted from the observation deck. This includes the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque.
Also, the intersection of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn adds to the striking landscape which is revealed at the top.
Visiting The Galata Tower
The ornament on top notwithstanding, the tower is 67 meters tall. Additionally, there is an observation deck located on the tower which is just over 51 meters above the ground. It is an easy walk from Taksim Square and is located in the Galata/Karakoy quarter of Istanbul.
Fortunately, the observation deck can be reached by taking the elevator found at the entrance. Although there is also a stairway if you are looking for some exercise. However, the Galata Tower is nine stories tall, therefore it is advisable to engage the elevator going up and enjoy the stairs on the way down.
Brief History of Galata Tower
Ironically, this iconic “Romanesque” landmark in Istanbul was not built by the Byzantines or the Ottomans. The structure as it is seen today was built in 1348 by the Genoese. It was built to replace “Tower of Galata” which was located inside the citadel of Galata at a nearby location.
The primary function of the tower was to anchor a chain that stretched across the entrance of the Golden Horn waterway and attached to the Tower of Eugenius on the southern side. This protective chain was imperative to keep enemy ships away from locations of the city that were vulnerable to attack.
Unfortunately, in 1208 the city walls were breached during the Fourth Crusade and the original Tower of Galata was destroyed. As a result, the invaders were able to enter the protected waterway and sack the city of Constantinople. A portion of the ancient chain still survives and it can be viewed at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
Istanbul Skyline Views
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