A Walk to the Galata Tower

One day we decided to walk to the Galata Tower on the other side of the Golden Horn. It was a memorable urban hike.

A view of the Ayasofya from Eminonu.
Looking back at the Blue Mosque from Eminonu. I’m afraid it was a somewhat cloudy and hazy day, so the light is not the best.

The Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in the mid-1300s. At the time, about 100 years before the Ottoman conquest, it was located in the Genoese colony outside Constantinople. Now it is in a part of Istanbul called Karakoy.

The Galata Tower from across the Golden Horn.
The Galata Tower from across the Golden Horn.

To get there we first had to walk to an area with the tongue twisting name of Eminonu. Eminonu is on the south side of the Golden Horn, a broad waterway that divides the European part of Istanbul.

Fishermen on the Galata Bridge.
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge.
Looking back at the Galata Bridge from the Karakoy side.
Looking back at the Galata Bridge from the Karakoy side.

To cross the Golden Horn we had to walk across the Galata Bridge, which is busy with pedestrians, cars a streetcar, and fishermen.

Walking to the Galata Tower.
Walking to the Galata Tower.
More stairs.
More stairs.

The tower is about 100 feet above sea level. When I read that, I demanded a recount. It feels like a steep climb.

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When it was built, the Galata Tower at about 200 feet was the tallest building in or around Constantinople.

Looking across the Golden Horn. The Ayasofya is to the right.
Looking across the Golden Horn.

Fortunately, there’s an elevator. When we got to the top, we avoided the restaurant but took in the views.

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The Galata Bridge seen from above.

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Another view across the Golden Horn, this time with the Blue Mosque.

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Looking away from the Golden Horn.

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Back on ground level, I tried to instruct my boys in the profound lessons of history, but without much success.

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The walk back down was faster.

The Galata Bridge and fGalata Tower at Dusk.
The Galata Bridge and Galata Tower at Dusk.
Lights illuminating the New Mosque, at the southern end of the bridge.
Lights illuminating the New Mosque, at the southern end of the bridge.

By the time we crossed back across the Galata Bridge, dusk had fallen, and we watched the lights come on.

25 Comments on “A Walk to the Galata Tower

  1. It looks so beautiful from up high! I could paint a picture of all of those roof tops! And I enjoyed the bit about you trying to teach a history lessons to your boys!!! Thank you for sharing these Jason! A city that is very intriguing indeed! Nicole

  2. Among all that old classic beauty is a hodgepodge of satellite dishes. Kind of made me cringe, like billboards along a highway in a beautiful part of the country.

  3. I was laughing re how your lesson with the boys went!!! Gosh, that is high, what great views, I do like the combination of the ancient and new buildings. Such a fascinating place.xxx

  4. I don’t know if I could stand living quite so closely as that but it’s a beautiful city that I’d love to visit. I know you said it was hazy but does it ever get smoggy too, with all the traffic?

  5. Fun shots of the family in an amazing city. Interesting how it was so hazy while you were there–it lends an air of mystery to your images. I hope to get to Istanbul someday. Everyone I know who’s been there has been impressed.

  6. I like those steep stairs in these old cities. The terracing of buildings and gardens is so nice to see. We don’t have that density in this country.

  7. I really like the pattern of those stairs and the little plantings.

  8. My trip to Istanbul was much shorter than I would have liked and I didn’t make it across the Horn. I would love to visit that tower! Must go back! 🙂

    • You should go back! We were there for 15 days. We figured we were going a very long distance so we should make the best of it. I’m really glad we made it a longer trip.

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