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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:15 AM   #1
CityZen
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Galata Tower/Istanbul



History of the Tower

The galata tower was built in1384it was the highpoint in the city walls of the Genoese colony called Galata

During the first centuries of Ottoman era the Galata tower was occupied by a detachment of Janissaries, the elite corps of the Turkish Army. In the sisteenth century the tower was used to house prisoners of war, who were usualy consigned as galley slaves in the ottoman arsenal at Kasimpasa on the golden horn.

During the reign of Selim 2nd (1566-1574) the Galata Tower was used as an observation point by the renowed Turkish astronomer Takiuddin, who had his main observatory in Pera. In the following century, during the reign of Mustafa 2nd (1695 - 1703) the seyhulislam Feyzulah efendi tried to set up an astronomical observatory in the tower with with the aid of a Jesuit priest, but the effort was cut short when he was killed in 1703.

The Galata Tower was reconstructed on a number of occasions in the Ottoman period, most notably, after a great fire that destroyed much of Galata in 1794 (during the reign of Selim III) and by Mahmut II in 1832. the tower's conical cap was blown off during a storm in 1875, and it was not replaced in the subsequent restoration. The tower was used as a fire- control station until 1964, when it was closed for restoratiom before being opened in 1967 as a tourist attraction. The conical cap was replaced in this restoration, giving the tower much the same appearance as it had in Genoese times, though retaining the changes in fenestration and other structual aspects done in the Ottoman period.




Structure

The dimensions of the Galata Tower are believed to be essentially the same as they ere in the Genoese period. The tower stands on a slope 35 meters above sea-level at a distance of 425 meters from the shore of the Golden Horn. The entrway is on the north side of the tower, approached by a double curved stairway of Proconnesian marble. The inscription in Arabic calligraphy above the ornate doorway is a verse of sixteen lines written by the poet Pertev, who praises Sultan Mahmut II for having restored the tower in the year A.H. 1248 (A.D. 1832). The entrance and the marble steps leading up to it date from the restoration by Mahmut II. Prior to that time the approach to the entryway seems to have been a wooden gangplank or drawbridge. The window above the door was probably look out for the soldiers of the garrison on guard. The external diameter of the tower at its base is 16.45 meters, the inside diameter 8.95 meterrs, and the thickness of the walls 3.75 meters. There are nine floors above the lofty entrance hall, and the uppermost floor is ringed by an observation deck, open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. The windows in the lover floors are few in number and merely slits, increasing appreciably in size on the sixth and seventh floors. The eight floor has huge round-arched windows while the ninth floor, which now houses a restaurant and nightclub, has smaller windows with ogive arches.

A large entryway on the south side leads into the main hall, now used as the entrance lobby, from where an elevator ascends to the seventh floor. Above the elevators there is a large bronze relief of Galata and its tower, based on the miniature painting of ca.1535 by Matrakçı Nasuh, court painter for Süleyman the Magnificent. Formerly the ascent was made via a stone stairway within the thickness of the wall to the fifth floor, above which one continued via a winding wooden stairway within the tower itself. The wooden stairway has been reconstructed, and today tourists use it to ascend from the upper reception room on the seventh floor, where there is a relief commemorating the exploit of the Turkish birdman, Hazerfen ahmet Çelebi. The observation deck is 51.65 meters above ground, he peak of the conical dome is at 62.59 meters, and the top of the finial is at 69.90 meters.



Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi

Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi (Turkish: Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi), who lived in the 17th century in Istanbul in the Ottoman Empire, is one of the first aviators to have succeeded in flying with artificial wings. He is supposed to have been inspired by and used the studies of Leonardo da Vinci on the flight of birds. He started flying from the Galata Tower, a high tower in Istanbul, and managed to fly over the Bosporus. The few people known to have succeeded in this kind of flight are an aviator from Moorish Spain and an English monk in the 9th and 12th centuries, respectively. One of Hezarfen's friends Lagari Hasan Celebi is known to have performed the first flight with a rocket in a conical cage filled with gun powder. Ahmet Celebi, because of his vast scientific knowledge was given the name Hezarfen, meaning "a thousand sciences". In his early studies of flying, he was motivated by the 10th century Turkish scientist Ismail Cevheri. Celebi, after carefully studying Cevheri's findings and when he felt confident enough arranged a public demonstration. He climbed the Galata Tower and launched himself into the wind; he passed over the Bosporus and landed in the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side.

This event created a great sensation. Sultan Murat IV was delighted and wanted to award Hezarfen but religious leaders and palace advisers soon changed his mind. Hezarfen was exiled to Algeria where he died soon at the age of 31.

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Last edited by CityZen; June 18th, 2006 at 03:31 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #2
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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #3
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I like this photo of Galata quarter. Special thanks to Sina Demirel who has taken this photo.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #4
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Very nice thread
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Old June 18th, 2006, 03:38 AM   #5
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Map of the quarter:
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Old June 18th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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A night shot is missing in the thread

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Old June 18th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #7
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beatiful shots, I love that tower. I heard that from somewhere that the whole area will go under a some sort of reconstruction very soon. We'll see what comes out of it I guess.
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Old June 25th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #8
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thank you for nice thread CityZen
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #9
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wonderful tower and really nice panorama!
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