Galata Tower – one of the icons of Istanbul

The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi), considered one of the oldest towers in the world and one of the symbols of Istanbul, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Provisional List in 2013. The Galata Tower, one of the most important buildings that complete the silhouette of Istanbul, served for a long time as a fire and watch tower and was named the Galata Fire Tower.

Galata deserves the name “tower” because its architectural plan was designed to be nine stories high, almost 220 feet, or exactly 66.90 meters, from the ground to the cone. Originally, it was only possible to get up by stairs, but during the renovation, an elevator was added and today it allows tourists to go directly to the room with windows, where the restaurant and cafe are located.

Inside the building, there are 146 stairs leading to five halls. Until 22:00 you can enjoy the night panorama of the city at the top of the Galata Tower together with a tasty dinner. It is possible to reserve a table and thus ensure the perfect romance – a view of Istanbul at night.

History of the Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is an interesting building due to its construction, structural elements, and of course a subtle mixture of Eastern Roman, Genoese, and Ottoman features.

There are two stories about the construction of this tower. The first assumption is that Anastasios was the first person to build the Galata Tower in 528 as a lighthouse.

The second assumption dates back to 1348 when the Genoese arrived and the Galata Tower was said to have been built to serve as a watchtower on the walls.

Why is the Galata Tower so famous?

First, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi managed to fly from the Galata Tower to Usküdar Doğancan in 1638 using his wooden wings.

After the establishment of the first modern Ottoman fire department in 1714, it was used as a fire tower because of its height.

In addition, a sad event occurred in 1973 when the 15-year-old son of the famous Turkish poet Umit Yaşar Oğuzcan Vedat committed suicide there. The famous poet wrote one of his elegies in memory of his son.

There is a museum and a restaurant with a cafe in the Galata Tower. The conical top, which has 14 windows, was designed and added to the structure during the reign of Mahmut II. in the 19th century. Today, this part serves visitors as a pleasant restaurant with a terrace to have a panoramic view of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and all of Istanbul. After 21:00 there is an evening in the tower, oriental folklore shows with belly dances and a harem show.

Thanks to its excellent location, there are many alternatives for those considering what to do near the Galata Tower. You can walk around the historical zone of Istanbul or go to Beyoğlu and participate in cultural activities. The best option to combine both is to take Genoese walks on the famous Istiklal and Galate shopping streets. Another piece of advice for those considering what to eat near the Galata Tower depends on your taste. In the district of Galata, there are many restaurants, cafes, and fast food corners. Cafe and restaurant PePo serve various delicacies in a wonderful atmosphere around the tower.