One of my favorite sites in Istanbul is Galata Tower. This tower was built in 1348 and at almost 220 feet tall it was the tallest structure in Istanbul. It is located north of the Golden Horn, which is the original port, and was outside of Constantinople.
There was an older tower in a different location that was used to raise and lower a massive chain across the harbor entrance to keep enemy ships out, but it was destroyed in 1204 during the 4th Crusade.
Interestingly in the very early part of the 1630’s Evliya Çelebi used a glider type of contraption and flew from the European side of Istanbul, over the Bosphorus (the body of water connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara), and landed 6 km away on the Asian side of Istanbul. This flight marks the very first intercontinental flight in history.
In 1717 it started to be used to help spot campfires around the city, since those could be the enemy. Sadly, it fell victim to the thing it was looking for when the stairs and roof were ruined in 1794 and 1831 due to fires.
My favorite thing about this tower is watching the sunset from the top of it as you look out over the city and see the old Constantinople below you as the reds, pinks, yellows, and other brilliant sunset colors paint the sky for you. Another idea is to have dinner at the top of the tower watching the sunset for those truly romantics out there. 🙂
Check back tomorrow as the “Photo of the Day” will be my sunset photo from the tower and you can see what I am talking about.
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