The iconic Galata Tower of Istanbul opened its doors again Tuesday after three months of restoration. Hundreds of visitors flocked Wednesday to see the renewed tower which will now mainly function as a museum and exhibition hall.
The tower’s uppermost floor offers a breathtaking view of Istanbul while visitors can browse through exhibitions on the lower floors.
As part of coronavirus measures, only a small group of visitors are allowed inside at any given time, and their temperature is taken at the entrance.
Wearing protective masks is mandatory while only four people are allowed on elevators taking visitors to the top of the tower. The venue will be open to visits between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is TL 30 per person.
The museum inside the tower currently hosts an interactive model of Istanbul, along with an exhibition on the tower’s history and a landmark flight by Ottoman aviator Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, who reportedly took off from the tower in the 17th century with a pair of wings he devised.
Another exhibition focuses on Istanbul’s liberation from occupying forces in 1923, in the aftermath of World War I.
More diverse exhibitions will be showcased in the tower as well.
The 67-meter-high (220-foot-high) tower situated on the city’s European side was constructed in 1348 as a watchtower and later, in the Ottoman era, as an observation post against fires.
Today, it is a landmark giving a splendid view of the Golden Horn through a narrow panoramic deck at the top. The tower, the tallest building in the city when it was first constructed, has been restored multiple times since the 19th century when it was damaged in a fire.
The last restoration was done in the 1960s when its roof was reconstructed and the wooden interior was replaced with a concrete structure.