Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Galata Tower - Istanbul, Turkey

Galata (in Turkish Galata) is a neighborhood in the district of Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey. It is located on the north shore of Golden Horn, separate from the historical peninsula of ancient Constantinople. There are several bridges across the Golden Horn, including Galata. Galata was a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453. The famous Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in 1348 in the northern part of the high citadel.

There are various theories about the origin of the name Galata. According to the Italians, the name comes from Calata (meaning 'down'), because it is sloping towards the sea from a hill. The Greeks believed that the name comes from Galaktos (which means' milk '), because the pastors were using the area during the Middle Ages, or the word Galata (which means "Celtic"), because it was believed that the Celtic tribe of Galatians camped here during the Hellenistic period before settling in Galatia in central Anatolia. The inhabitants of Galatia are famous for the Epistle to the Galatians and the statue Gálata moribund.

This tower of 61 m in height that rises above the hill of Galata is seen almost throughout the city, one of the reasons that your visit is essential to its magnificent view of the city, the tower is built over a hill overlooking the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. Andalusia lookout tower can be reached by 143 stairs or elevator. From this lookout you can admire a panorama of the city, which is known from the V century in this same place had a tower, but the Galata Tower was built by the Genoese to 1348, as a great bastion of the walled enclosure to be protected of possible attacks by the Byzantines. Genoese called "Tower of Christ," reaches a height of about 140m from sea level and 9 m in diameter on the inside.

The tower, during the Ottoman period, was used as a prison to incarcerate prisoners of war, was also used as an observatory. After the end of the Ottoman period, became the vantage point of monitoring of fires.

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