Interesting Facts about Galata Tower

Before you visit the tower, it will be interesting for you to know a few of the stories associated with the Galata Tower and the variety of uses it has been put to. This adds more significance to the visit. The Geonese first used the tower for defense purposes. It was also a part of the communication system at that time - a method inherited from the Romans. Fires were lit on top of the tower to send messages at great distances.

When the Ottomans captured Istanbul, they converted it into a prison and later used it as a dormitory for the military band.

However, the most well known story is that of Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi. The Galata Tower really became famous in Turkey and a part of Ottoman history when in the 17th century; Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi attempted to fly from the GalataTower to Uskudar on the Asian shore with wings attached to his arms. After working on this project for many years, he succeeded one fine day, when the winds carried him all the way over the Bosphorous to Uskudar. After this spectacular event, the locals referred to the tower as the Hezarfen Tower for quite some time.

It is also during this period that people used the tower for a strange sport. They tied ropes to the supports on top of the tower and slid down the rope. Later they climbed up the rope back to the top of the tower. Regular competitions were held in this sport of rope climbing.

At times, the tower was also used by the Mevlevi Order of the dervishes for their sema ceremonies.

The Galata Tower underwent its last restoration in 1990 and was made open to the public as a tourist attraction soon after.
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