The Galata Tower Istanbul

The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi in Turkish) 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. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic view of Istanbul's historic peninsula.

The nine-story tower is 66.90 m (219.5 ft) tall and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. There is a restaurant and café on its upper floors which command a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a night club which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels.

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 Istanbul and was built to replace the old Tower of Galata, an original Byzantine tower named Megalos Pyrgos, which controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance to the Golden Horn. That tower was on a different site and was largely destroyed in 1203, during the Fourth Crusade of 1202–1204.

In 1794, Galata Tower was devastated by a fire, somewhat ironic given that it was serving as a fire watchtower at the time!

In 1875, during a storm, the conical roof on the top of the building was destroyed. 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. 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.