Galata Tower is one of the well-known towers in Istanbul. It was built in the fourteenth century by the Genoese colony as part of the city defense wall. The tower used to be called “Christea Turris, which means “Tower of Christ’. The building served Genoese merchants while making trades with the Byzantine Empire. After Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, it continued its duty as a fire watchtower during the Ottoman Empire.

Panaromic Illustration of Hazerfen Ahmet Celebi by Omer Faruk Boyaci

Hazerfen Ahmet Celebi (Flying Turk)

The tower has many stories. One of them is Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi’s first flight in the seventeenth century. Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi is the first Turk to fly in his time. He made a replica of bird wings and studied their airflow. He flew from the top of Galata Tower, crossed Bosphorus, and landed on the shore of Uskudar. He flew approximately six kilometers distance.


Galata Tower has many romantic stories. One of the legends indicates that if you climb the tower with your loved one, it is your destiny that you will marry. This legend became a tradition, and still, people queue up to climb the Galata Tower with their true loves.

Maiden’s Tower and Galata Tower, Istanbul Turkey.

Another legend says that Maiden tower and Galata Tower are two towers in love. Their love is hopeless. They can never reach each other because Bosphorus prevents the meeting of those two towers. According to legend, Galata tower writes letters to Maiden tower. Hazerfen Ahmet Celebi decides to do his flight from Galata tower, and Galata Tower tells him about his love and requests his help to bring the letters to Maiden Tower. Hazerfen’s flight becomes successful, and eventually, Maiden Tower receives the letters. In the end, she realizes that her love is not unanswered.

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