THE GALATA TOWER

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The Galata Tower is a structure located in Galata district of Istanbul. Built in 528, the building is an important symbol of the city. The Bosphorus and the Golden Horn can be seen panoramically from the tower. UNESCO has added the tower to the World Heritage Temporary List in 2013.

The Galata Tower is one of the oldest towers in the world and was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius in 528 as the Lantern Tower. The tower was destroyed extensively in the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and was later called the “Tower of Jesus” in 1348 and rebuilt by the Genoese in addition to the walls of Galata with stacked stones. When it was rebuilt in 1348, it became the biggest building of the city.

Galata tower was elevated between 1445-1446. It was renovated and repaired in almost every century after the tower fell to the Turks. It was used as a shelter for the Christian war prisoners working in Kas?mpasa shipyards in the 16th century. With tt the permission of Sultan Murat III, an astronomical observatory was established here by the astrologer Takiyüddin, but this observatory was closed in 1579.

In the first half of the 17th century, during the IV Murat period, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi checked the winds in Okmeydan? and after his flight exercises, he flew to Uskudar-Dogancilar from the Galata Tower in 1638 by wearing his eagle wings on his back. This flight was matter of interest in Europe, and some engravings were made in England showing this flight. In 1717, the tower was used as a fire pagodas tower. The fires were announced by playing a large drum to let the folks hear the emergency situation. During the Selim III era, many fires occurred. The restored tower was damaged and in another fire in 1831. In 1875, the cone was overturned in a storm. The latest repair, which started in 1965 and finished in 1967, provided the general look of today’s Galata Tower.

The height from the ground to the tip of the roof is 69.90 meters. The wall thickness is 3.75 m, the inner diameter is 8.95 m and the outer diameter is 16.45 meters. According to the static calculations, the weight is approximately 10,000 tons and the thick body is an uncut rubble stone.

Many skulls and bones were found in the canal beneath the deep pits. The middle room was used as a dungeon in the basement. Some suicide incidents have been recorded here. In 1876, an Austrian took advantage of the pendency of the watchmen and jump down the tower. On June 6, 1973, the famous poet Ümit Ya?ar O?uzcan’s son Vedat, who was 15 years old, committed suicide by jumping from the tower. Oguzcan wrote a poem called Galata Tower on this.

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