The heritage of Istanbul is extremely varied and always of enormous quality and value. Here we have told you in previous posts about its Byzantine treasures such as the Basilica of Santa Sofía, its magnificent mosques such as the Blue Mosque or its palaces from different eras such as Dolmabahce. And today the time has come to talk about another monumental treasure and one of the oldest in the most important city of Turkey: the Galata Tower.
The Galata Tower stands on a high point on the city's European edge. To this natural elevation we must add the height of the construction that exceeds 60 meters. Therein lies the origin and importance of the monument, since from its origins it was a place with an excellent panoramic view over the waters of the Golden Horn and the entrance to the Strait of the Bosporus, plus much of the city.
Initially there was an earlier tower that served as a lighthouse. It was built in the 5th century, at the time of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius. But it was made of wood, which always facilitates accidents and fires. That is why the Galata Tower that we see today is mostly due to the stone construction made by the Genoese in the 14th century, since these Italians were settled in this area of the city and built it to take care of their commercial interests..
It was they who didthe circular tower with stone walls of enormous thickness, since they exceed 3.5 meters in their lowest part. Although the thickness of the walls decreases in height, and in the highest part they are barely 20 centimeters.
However, they were not the ones who gave the final look to the Galata Tower. Remember the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman empire. That meant that the tower was going to be transformed into a prison and also a warehouse. And the conical top that appears on its top was also incorporated, since such a viewpoint was not wasted to continue being a watchtower over the environment.
In short, as we can see, this Galata Tower may not be the greatest work of art of the immense heritage that Istanbul treasures. But its historical value is undeniable, since it is a construction that reflects a large part of the history of this city. And of course the materialization of history is one of the elements that characterize the best works of art, because not everything is based on beauty.