The Galata Tower The Galata Tower, though its exact date of construction remains uncertain, is believed to have been built in 507 AD during the Byzantine era. Originally known as the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines, it took on its present shape in the 14th century during the Genoese period. However, the tower suffered heavy damage during an earthquake in 1509 and was later restored by the famous architect Hayrettin. During Süleiman's reign (1520-66), the tower was used as a prison for the prisoners sentenced to work at Kasımpaşa Naval Dockyard. In the late 16th century, Takıyeddin Efendi established an observatory on top of the tower and conducted observations for a period of time until it was ordered to be closed by Murat III (1546-1595). Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, an early aviator, flew using artificial wings from the tower across the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side during the reign of Murad V. In its early history, the tower was used by the Mehter Band, but after 1717, it was converted into a fire-observatory tower. Unfortunately, the tower was destroyed by fire in 1794. The Galata Tower's history dates back to the Byzantine era, with its exact construction date being uncertain. It was originally known as the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines. The tower's current form was established during the Genoese period in the 14th century, but it suffered severe damage in an earthquake in 1509. It was later renovated by Hayrettin, a famous architect at the time, and prisoners sentenced to work at Kasımpaşa Naval Dockyard were held here during Sultan Süleiman's reign. In the late 16th century, Takıyeddin Efendi established an observatory on top of the tower, which was closed later under orders from Sultan Murat III. Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, an early aviator, flew from this tower across the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side during the reign of Sultan Murad V. After being used by Mehter Band in its early history, the tower became a fire-observatory tower from 1717 until it was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1794. After its reconstruction, Sultan Selim III added a cumba to the top of the tower, which was destroyed in another fire in 1831. Sultan Mahmut II then added two more floors and a conical hat-like ornament to the tower's design. The tower operates today as a popular tourist destination and upscale venue, with an elevator that goes up to the 7th floor and the final two floors accessible only by foot. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the outdoor balcony on the top floor. The tower stands 66.90 meters high, with an outer diameter of 16.45 meters and an inner diameter of 8.95 meters.