Galata Tower


Galata Tower is one of the symbolic buildings of Istanbul and has one of the most fantastic views of the Old City, Bosphorus, Marmara Sea, European and Asian Shores.

The Galata Tower and the Genoese

Galata Tower is considered one of the oldest existing towers in the world. The tower was built in 528 by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius as a Light Tower. The tower received severe damage during the Crusade IV in 1204, and in 1348 the Genoese repaired the tower in addition to the walls around Galata. They called it the Tower of Jesus. It was also the tallest building in the city in those years.

The Byzantine Emperor raised the hight of the Galata Tower between 1445-1446. It was then taken over by the Turks, made a major restoration and repaired every century. In the 16th century, it became a shelter for the Christian prisoners of war who worked in Kasimpasa shipyards. Sultan Murat III established an observatory, and this observatory was closed in 1579.

The Ottomans and the Tower

In the period of Murat IV, that is, in the first half of the 17th century, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi got his eagle wings made of wood and flew from Galata Tower to Uskudar (1638). There are engravings in England about this flight, which attracted attention in Europe. There are still articles, models, and videos about this flight in many parts of the world.

As of 1717, Galata Tower became a Fire Watch Tower. In the period of Selim III, more than half of the tower burned in a fire. The tower was repaired and damaged in a fire again in 1831. In 1875, storms overturned the cone roof. With the last repair that started in 1965 and finished in 1967, it reached the look we have today.

Private Tours of the Galata Tower

If you are interested in visiting Galata Tower with an experienced private tour guide please contact us! Our private tours are the best option to enjoy wonderful and complex sites.

Let us make your time in Istanbul a memorable one!