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Istanbul Guide
The Galata Tower

When looking across the Golden Horn you can't help notice the Galata Tower, one of the most distinctive buildings in Istanbul, on the other side. It was built as the Tower of Christ by the Genoese in 1348 though it replaced an early tower made of wood that was built by the Emperor Anastasius in 507. It was from here that Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew with his artificial wings across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar, a flight of nearly six kilometres away in 1630. Rumor has it that he was then sent into exile since anyone who could fly was a danger to the Sultan. Though the Galata Tower has been damaged by several fires it is now pretty much restored. There is a restaurant inside, reachable by elevator and from there you can walk the winding staircase to the observation platform for some of the best views of the city as these photos will show you. To get to the Galata Tower either walk across the Galata bridge and keep walking up Yuksek Kaldirim Cadessi, or if you don't want to work as hard, take the world's second oldest subway from Karakoy to Tunel and walk down Galip Dede Cadessi and the whole trip is downhill.

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Istanbul has had a vibrant Jewish community for more than 1000 years. After the Turkish conquest of Istanbul, Sultan Mehmet II encouraged immigration to repopulate the city. Over half a million Jews persecuted in Spain and Portugal were encouraged to establish themselves within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul, the new immigrants settled mostly near Galata, a quarter on the northern bank of the Golden Horn, where a Jewish community had existed since the early days of the Ottoman Era in Istanbul. Synagogues, the Jewish Museum, Jewish Apartments, the amazing story of Abram Kamondo and other Jewish heritage sites are part of the Galata: The Jewish District Walking Tour

Return to Matt's Istanbul Index