Galata Tower

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Galata Tower
Galata Kulesi
Istanbul asv2020-02 img48 Galata Tower.jpg
View from Bosphorus
General information
TypeObservation tower
LocationIstanbul, Turkey
Coordinates41°1′32.36″N 28°58′26.96″E / 41.0256556°N 28.9741556°E / 41.0256556; 28.9741556
OwnerCity of Istanbul, Turkey
ManagementGalata Kulesi, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi BELTUR
Architectural67 m (220 ft)[1]
Tip63 m (207 ft)[1]
Top floor52 m (171 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count9[2]
Galata Tower

The Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi), called Christea Turris (the "Tower of Christ" in Latin) by the Genoese, is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn's junction with the Bosphorus. It is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs.


The nine-story tower is (62.59 m (205.3 ft) without the ornament on 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.

The tower replaces an earlier Galata Tower that was built in 528 during the Byzantine Empire. This tower was destroyed during the Crusades.

There was a restaurant and café on its upper floors which have views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels. Galata Tower was included in World Heritage temporary list in Turkey by UNESCO in 2013.


The Romanesque style tower was built as Christea Turris ("Tower of Christ") in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. Galata Tower was the tallest building in Constantinople at 219.5 ft (66.9 m) when it was built in 1348.[3]

The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires.

Starting from 1717, the Ottomans began to use the tower for spotting fires in the city. 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, upon which a new restoration work took place.

In 1875, during a storm, the conical roof on the top of the building was destroyed.[4][5] The tower remained without this conical roof for the rest of the Ottoman period. Many years later, during the restoration works between 1965 and 1967, the conical roof was reconstructed.[4][5] During this final restoration in the 1960s, the wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was commercialized and opened to the public.[citation needed]

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


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Eiffel Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ a b Galata Tower at Emporis
  3. ^ Katie Hallam (2009). The Traveler's Atlas: Europe. London: Barron's Educational Series.(2009), p. 118-119.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b "Galata Kulesi: Kısa Tarihçe" Archived 2014-07-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]