Istanbul E-pass includes a Galata Tower Entrance Ticket. Simply scan your QR code at the entrance and get in.
One of the most colorful regions in Istanbul is Galata. Located just on the side of the famous Golden Horn, this beautiful area has welcomed different religions and ethnicities for more than centuries. The Galata Tower also stands in this region, watching Istanbul for more than 600 years. While it was an important trade port, this place also became the house of many Jews running away from Spain and Portugal in the 15th century. Let's look at the short story about this area and famous places to visit while you are there.
Importance of Galata Tower
Galata stands on the other side of the Golden Horn, which is also the place it takes its first recorded name. Pera was the first name of this place which means ''the other side''. Starting from the beginning of the Roman Era, Galata had two importance. The first one was that this was the most important port as the water here was more stable than the Bosphorus. Bosphorus is an important trade route between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, but the big problem was the currents being powerful and unpredictable. As a result, there was a significant need for a safe harbor. Golden Horn was a natural harbor and a vital place, especially for the navy of the Romans. It is a bay with only one entrance from the Bosphorus. As this was not an open sea, there was nowhere to go in case of an attack. That's why the security of this place was vital. For this purpose, there were two essential locations. The first one was the chain that was blocking the entrance of the Golden Horn. One side of this chain was in today's Topkapi Palace and the other side was in the Galata region. The second important part was the Galata Tower. For a long time, it was the highest human-made tower in Istanbul. Let's see the short story of the Galata Tower Istanbul.
History of Galata Tower
This is one of the symbol buildings of the city of Istanbul. It also plays a vital role in history. The Galata Tower Istanbul that is standing today is from the 14th century. We know that from the records, though, there were older towers back in the Roman Era in the same place. We can understand that watching the Bosphorus was always crucial in the course of history. The question is, we know that this tower was meant to watch the Bosphorus. What can the tower do in case of an enemy ship enters the Bosphorus? If the tower spots an enemy ship or a risky ship, the procedure was transparent. The Galata Tower would be giving signals to the Maiden Tower, and the Maiden Tower would be cutting the traffic in the sea. There were lots of little ships full of guns having incredible maneuvering ability. This was also the way of collecting taxes. Passing through the Bosphorus, every ship has to pay a definite amount of money to the Roman Empire as a tax. This business went on until the end of the Roman Empire. Once the Ottomans conquered the city of Istanbul, the area and the tower were given to the Ottomans without a battle. During the Ottoman Era, the tower had a new function. The biggest problem of Istanbul was the earthquakes. As the city was over a fault from the West of Istanbul until the Iranian border, most of the houses were mainly built with wood. The reason for that was flexibility. While this was a good idea for the earthquakes, that was creating another problem, "the fires". When a fire started, one-third of the city was burning down. The idea for dealing with the fires was to watch the city from a high point. Then, giving signals from that high point to the people ready for the fires in every city region. This high point was the Galata Tower. There were 10-15 people in every area of the city that was chosen for the fires. When they see the famous flags of Galata Tower, they would understand which part of the city had the problem. One flag meant there was a fire in the old city. Two flags indicated there was a fire in the Galata area.
In the 18th century, there was a legendary Muslim scientist that was studying aviation. His name was Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi. He thought if the birds can do so, he could do the same. As a result, he created two big artificial wings and jumped from the Galata Tower Istanbul. According to the story, he flew to the Asian side of Istanbul and landed. The landing was a little bit harsh because of missing tails, but he managed to survive. After the story was heard, he became incredibly famous and his story went all the way to the palace. When the sultan heard it, he admired the name and sent lots of gifts. Later, the same sultan thought this name was a little dangerous for himself. He could fly, but the sultan can't. Then they sent this adventurer to exile. The story says that he dies while he was in exile. Today, the tower serves as a museum for travelers who want to enjoy breathtaking views of the city. With the views of the old city, Asian side, Bosphorus, and many more, the place is a good spot for taking pictures. It also has a cafeteria that you can use after taking some pictures to rest. A visit to the Galata area without the tower is not complete. Don't miss it.
The Final Word
Istanbul is full of various sites to visit for a traveler. Galata Tower is one of them. We must suggest you visit Galata Tower Istanbul to get a scenic view of Istanbul from the top. It will help you to see a view of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.
Galata Tower Istanbul Hours of Operation
Galata Tower Istanbul is open every day between 08:30 - 23:00. The last entrance is at 22:00
Galata Tower Istanbul Location
Galata Tower Istanbul is located in Galata District.
Galata Kulesi, 34421
Galata Tower's top floor is closed due to renovation. You can still get to the 7th floor and watch the view from the windows.
Simply scan your QR code at the entrance and get in.
The Galata Tower Istanbul visit takes around 45-60 minutes.
There may be a queue at the entrance for an elevator.
Photo ID will be asked from child Istanbul E-pass holders.