Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Tower stands majestically through the centuries on the hill Galata. With watchful eyes it guards the peace of Istanbul - the city of contrasts and beauty of antiquity. The height of the tower is 66.9 meters, external diameter at base - 16.45 meters, inside diameter - 8.95 meters, the altitude of the ground level is 35 meters. Galata Tower is one of the most impressive buildings and symbols of Istanbul; it is visible from almost all parts of the city.
The tower story goes back to the V century: at the same site on the same hill there was a tower - the ancestor of the present Galata. Today's tower dates back to 1348-1349 years. The tower was built by Genoeses who captured many of the Byzantine areas. They built a stronghold with a tower for the Genoese colony of Galata. The tower called "Tower of Jesus."
In 1453, sank into oblivion once the great Byzantine Empire, event, which greatly affected the history of the neighbor nations. After conquest of Constantinople by Fatih Sultan Mehmet and turning it into Istanbul, the Ottoman population of Galata, as well as Istanbul, was dramatically increased. In 1509 an earthquake severely damaged the Galata Tower. The tower was rebuild by architect Murat bin Hayrettin, who gave the tower the current image and name. For the first time the tower was crowned by a conical sharp spike.
In some periods of its eventful life tower served to different purposes. At one time the tower was used as a prison, after a ship's store, then the observatory. In subsequent decades, Galata Tower became the observation point in case of fire. At the top of the tower, in special rooms were located drummers, who began to beat the big special drums in case they saw the fire in any part of the city. During the reign of Selim III the tower itself experienced a strong fire. The magnificent historic monument was covered with a thick layer of soot. The sultan immediately ordered to restore the tower, but after a while again, the tower went up in flames. Further, during the reign of Mahmut II, the tower was repaired. In 1964, due to the Istanbul mayor's order, Galata Tower was in a process of large repairs, in consequence of which the tower got its old form in a new, fresh colors and the conical dome.
At the same time, those who want to feel the gentle breeze of the Bosphorus from the top of the tower were given an alternative to 143 stairs leading to the verandah – elevator.
The tower with fourteen large arched windows, a great place to enjoy the city of extraordinary beauty, feel the spirit of Constantinople, to plunge into the century, or just stay on one with your thoughts, surrounded by colorful and warming panorama.
On the top floor of the tower is a cozy cafe with a beautiful view to the city and Bosporus, where you can taste the pungent aromatic Turkish coffee cooked over charcoal, admiring the mixed sounds of azan coming from the minarets and bell chimes from the Christian churches.
By Lilit Vanesyan, www.building.am