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The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s traditional and famous visuals. While the beautiful lights of the tower can be seen around evening time from everywhere throughout the city its the historical background merits attention.
The name Galata originates from ‘gala’, which in Greek means milk. It is assumed that the lot of dairies in the zone take credit for this name, but there is no verifiable confirmation of this. The name could also have been derived from the Italian word ‘calata’, or ‘the road driving down to the ocean’ to the shores of Halic.
Thee Galata Tower was constructed by the Genoese State in Constantinople in 1348. It was at the time the highest building in Istanbul. At its peak it was a stronghold that incorporated the Genoese fortress of the Galata.
During the Ottoman Empire, the apex of tower was changed in unique rebuilding efforts. Starting in 1717, the Ottomans started utilizing the tower to spot fires in and around the city.In the reign of Sultan Selim III in 1794, the tower’s roof and stairs were destroyed by fire.
Afterward, in 1831, another fire harmed the building and restoration work was started afresh. In 1875 a heavy storm wrecked the rooftop. Because of the damage, the tower stayed without the conic rooftop for whatever was period of time left to the Ottoman Empire. Between 1965 and 1967, during the Turkish Republic, the first top of the tower was finally restored The last recovery process occurred in late 1960’s when the wooden inter ior of Galata Tower was replaced with a solid concrete structure. The tower was then opened to the general public.
Before you visit the Galata Tower, it might be of interest to hear some stories relating to the tower. The Geonese first used its zenith for protection acquiring this strategy from the Romans. Flares were lit at its top to send messages. When the Ottomans arrived Istanbul, they changed over it into a jail and later used it as a habitis ation for the military band.
The most interesting story is that of Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi. Hezarfeni tried to fly from the Galata Tower to Uskudar on the Asian shore, with wings joined to his arms. Wearing these wings for a few days he succeeded one fine day, when the breezes blew from the Bosphorus to Uskudar. On hearing of this amazing occurrence, people began to refer to the tower as the Hezarfen Tower. After this period people used the tower for an unusual game. They used ropes to slide down from the zenith to the ground below and climbed back the rope back to the tower’s highest point. Competitions are held even today to keep the tradition of rope climbing alive.
Also visit : http://lahorebulletin.com/the-bhong-mosque/