Galata Tower

The Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi), or with the current official name Galata Kulesi Museum (Turkish: Galata Kulesi Müzesi), is a tower in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is named after the quarter in which it is located, Galata. Built as a watchtower at the highest point of the Walls of Galata,[1] the tower is now an exhibition space and museum, and one of the symbols of Beyoğlu and Istanbul.

Galata Tower
Galata Kulesi
Istanbul asv2020-02 img48 Galata Tower.jpg
Galata Tower (January 2021)
Former namesTurris Sancte Crucis (Holy Cross Tower)
General information
TypeWatchtower (former) · observation tower (former) · fire tower (former) · touristic building · museum · exhibition place
LocationIstanbul, Turkey
Coordinates41°1′32.36″N 28°58′26.96″E / 41.0256556°N 28.9741556°E / 41.0256556; 28.9741556
Renovated1453 · 1510 · 1794 · 1832 · 1875 · 1965-1967 · 1999-2000 · 2020
OwnerDirectorate General of Foundations
ManagementOfficial website
Architectural62.59 m (205 ft)
Top floor40.04 m (131 ft)
DiameterInterior: 8.95 m (29.4 ft)
Exterior: 16.45 m (54.0 ft)
Technical details
Structural systemMasonry
Floor count11 (including the basement, the ground floor and the mezzanine)
Grounds208 m2 (2,240 sq ft)


During the Byzantine period the Emperor Justinian had a tower erected in what was to become Galata. This tower was destroyed during the Fourth Crusade.

The famous Galata Tower of today was first built in 1348 in Romanesque style[2][3] as the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. At the time the Galata Tower, at 219.5 ft (66.9 m), was the tallest building in Constantinople.[4]

After the Genoese colony was dismantled and the walls pulled down in 1453, the tower was used as a prison in the 16th century. It was from its roof that, in 1638, Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi strapped on wings and made the first intercontinental flight, landing in the Doğancılar Meydanı in Üsküdar on the Asian side of the city, a story of doubtful authenticity recounted by the Ottoman travel writer, Evliya Çelebi.

From 1717, the Ottomans used the tower to look out for fires (on the Old Istanbul side of the city the Beyazıt Tower served the same function). In 1794, during the reign of Sultan Selim III, the roof of the tower was made of lead and wood, and the stairs were severely damaged by a fire. Another fire damaged the building in 1831, after which further restoration work took place.

In 1875, the tower's conical roof was destroyed during a storm.[5][6] It remained without this iconic roof for the rest of the Ottoman period. Many years later, during restoration work between 1965 and 1967, the conical roof was reconstructed.[5][6] At the same time the tower's wooden interior was replaced with a concrete structure and it was opened to the public.[citation needed]

In 2020 the Tower was controversially restored then opened as a museum. [1] It is mainly popular for the 360-degree views of Istanbul visible from its observation deck.

Panoramic view from the observation deck of the Galata Tower during the late Ottoman period
View of the Golden Horn and the Seraglio Point from Galata Tower


The nine-story tower is (62.59 m (205.3 ft) excluding the ornament on the top, 51.65 m (169.5 ft) at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 61 m (200 ft) above sea-level. The tower has an external diameter of 16.45 m (54.0 ft) at the base, an inside diameter of 8.95 m (29.4 ft), and walls that are 3.75 m (12.3 ft) thick.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Galata Tower and the Walls of Galata". Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Galata Kulesi hikayesi" (in Turkish). Hürriyet. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  4. ^ Katie Hallam (2009). The Traveler's Atlas: Europe. London: Barron's Educational Series.(2009), p. 118-119.
  5. ^ a b "Time Out Istanbul: "Galata Kulesi'nin eski fotoğraflarda neden farklı göründüğünü merak ettiniz mi?"". Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Galata Kulesi: Kısa Tarihçe" Archived 2014-07-15 at the Wayback Machine

Further readingEdit

  • Arseven, Celal Esat (1989). Eski Galata ve Binaları (in Turkish) (with new letters ed.). Istanbul: Çelik Gülersoy Vakfı İstanbul Kütüphanesi Yayınları. ISBN 9757512044.
  • Bilginer, Recep (April 1959). "Galata Kulesi". İETT Dergisi (in Turkish). No. 31. pp. 26–27.
  • Demiröz, Yasin; Acarkan, Bora (2016). Tarihi yapılarda dış cephe aydınlatması ve Galata Kulesi uygulaması (PDF). Elektrik, Elektronik ve Biyomedikal Mühendisliği Konferansı (in Turkish). Bursa. pp. 110–114.
  • Gündüz, Doğan (June 2004). "Galata Kulesi'ndeki saatleri ayarlama küresi". Toplumsal Tarih (in Turkish). No. 126.
  • Erkins, Ziya (1970). Galata Kulesi (in Turkish). Istanbul: Yörük Matbaası.
  • Galata Kulesi ve Çevresi Bölge Düzenleme Projesi (in Turkish). Istanbul: Beyoğlu Belediye Başkanlığı Yayınları. 1988.
  • "Artık bizim de bir Eiffel'imiz var: Galata Kulesi". Hayat (in Turkish). No. 27. 26 June 1969. pp. 16–17.
  • "Fener... Zindan... Yangın kulesi... Şimdi de turistik tesis: Galata Kulesi". Hayat (in Turkish). No. 39. 23 September 1965. pp. 16–17.
  • Arifoğlu, Nergiz (19 March 2018). "Galata Kulesi'nin aydınlatma tasarımı süreçleri" (in Turkish). Kaynak Elektrik. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018.
  • The Apes Of Galata - NFT Projesi (23 Nisan 2022)

External linksEdit