Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower just to the north of the Golden Horn’s junction with the Bosphorus. The earliest version of the tower was built in 528 during the Byzantine Empire, but this tower was destroyed during the Crusades. The current 220 foot high tower dates back to 1348, when it was the highest point in the city walls of the Genoese colony called Galata. The Genoese called it Christea Turris or Tower of Christ in Latin. According to legend, in 1638, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi attached wings to his body and flew across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar. Nobody knows whether the story is true or if he survived. During the 1700s, the Ottomans used the tower to spot fires in the city.

Today, the upper floors of the Galata Tower have a panoramic balcony that offers spectacular views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. The balcony is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm in the summer), but the best time to visit is at the time of a call to prayer, especially around sunset. The upper floors of the tower also have a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show.


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