The Galata Tower in Istanbul is one of Istanbul’s most prominent landmarks, and one which has a fascinating past, not to mention it is still in use today. No matter which one of our Egypt and Turkey Tours you book, Galata Tower is one of the first things you will see when you arrive in Turkey.
Any tourist arriving in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, is inevitably going to see the city’s most famous and most distinguishable landmark, the Galata Tower. For this reason, it is possibly one of the most viewed Turkey tourist attractions. Not only is the Galata Tower in Istanbul the most recognizable landmark, but it also has a rather interesting history, not to mention the fact that it is still in use to this day.
The Galata Tower In Istanbul – Tower Of Christ
When the Galata Tower in Istanbul was first constructed, the tower was called Christea Turris, which in Latin means Tower of Christ, but it was later renamed after the area in which it was built. At the time of its construction, it was the ultimate fortress built around the Galata Citadel. Built in 1348, the tower was also the tallest fortification of its time.
The tower is just shy of 70 meters tall, and while this might not seem impressive by today’s standards, it was without a doubt a huge achievement in its time. One of the most remarkable features of the tower is the fact that it is still actively being used to this day. Then again, its stone walls are nearly four meters thick.
From Battle Station To Watchtower
Almost 400 years after the tower was built, the Galata Tower in Istanbul was being used by the Ottomans as a “fire watch” station. Its unrivaled height made it ideal for spotting fires anywhere in the city, but ironically however, the tower itself was severely damaged by a fire in 1794.
In 1831 another fire caused significant damage to the tower, but as before, the damage was promptly repaired. In 1875, disaster struck once again. On this occasion, a severe storm completely destroyed the tower’s conic roof.
For the remainder of the Ottoman era, the Galata Tower in Istanbul remained without its conical roof, and it was only many years later during the mid 1960s that work got underway to restore the original roof. Interestingly enough, this is also when the tower’s wooden interior got replaced by concrete. Upon completion of the restoration project, the tower was officially opened to the public.
Generally, we don’t include a visit to the tower in our range of Egypt and Turkey Tours. The tower’s location make it a very easy and convenient site to visit on your own during you free time in Istanbul. If you would rather visit the tower as part of a tour, we can easily add it to your preferred tour itinerary.
From Watchtower To Modern Day Attraction
These days, the Galata Tower is an incredibly popular tourist attraction, complete with the addition of modern elevators that are able to whisk visitors to the tower’s uppermost floor; to a restaurant which offers diners spectacular views of Beyoglu (Pera District), Old Istanbul and the Bosphorus that separates the Asian part of Turkey from the European part of the country. Many visitors to the country’s capital even go as far as saying the restaurant provides the best dining experience in the capital.
Partying The Night Away In An Historical Fortress
If fine dining and panoramic views are not what you are looking for, you’ll be glad to know the tower has something a bit more exhilarating to offer as well. That’s right; the upper floors of the Galata Tower in Istanbul are also home to one of the city’s most popular nightclubs, and one that never fails to keep patrons entertained.
The Galata Tower And Megalos Pyrgos
Some visitors to the country tend to mistake the Galata Tower in Istanbul for the Megalo Pyrgos Tower. The latter however was constructed in an entirely different part of the city, and was also built prior to the Galata tower. Additionally, Megalo Pyrgos was almost totally destroyed during the Fourth Crusade which occurred between 1202 and 1204.
For now, it seems the future of this historical landmark is in good hands, and likely to still be standing many years into the future. This is of course largely due to the fact that restoration laws in Turkey are currently among the strictest in the world. Even nails that are removed during restoration projects have to be replaced in exactly the same way as the originals.
Experience The Galata Tower And More…
You can see Galata Tower in Istanbul for yourself, along with an almost unimaginable number of other fascinating attractions in Turkey, simply by exploring our Egypt and Turkey Tours. From high quality package tours to perfectly customized personal tours, our team of consultants is on hand to help you every step of the way.