Galata Tower (Buyuk Hendek Cad., Istanbul) — The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) is the most recognizable landmark of the Golden Horn. The cylindrical tower with its conical cap rises high above all other buildings on the east bank of the Golden Horn and provides a magnificent 360 degree view of Istanbul.
The original tower was built in 1348 and called the Tower of Christ (Christea Turris). As the highest part of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata, the tower served as a watchtower – directly facing ancient Constantinopolis. After the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the tower became a prison and naval depot. During the 19th century it was a fire lookout post in order to quickly detect frequent fire outbreaks in the city’s mainly wooden houses. In the 1967, after three years of restoration, the Galata Tower reopened its doors. The present tower has been restored to the appearance it had under the reign of Mehmet II during the Ottoman Empire.
Admission: 25 TL per person. Hours: 9:00 am – 8: 00 pm (daily).