Istanbul, Galata Tower

Galata Tower in Istanbul will be transformed into a museum

The famous tower, built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony of Constantinople, will become a historical and cultural centre and restaurants and cafes will disappear.

Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, announced this week that Istanbul’s famous Galata Tower will be completely renovated to become a museum, while the restaurants and offices it currently houses inside will be closed.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the nearby Tarık Zafer Tunaya Cultural Centre, the restoration of which has been carried out in the framework of the Beyoğlu Historic District Renovation Project, Ersoy announced that renovation works on the historic Tower will begin very soon, after the Ministry took control of this building last May, previously managed by the city’s metropolitan council.

The minister explained that the project for the renovation of the historic 672-year-old tower is now ready and the works are expected to be awarded after a public tender that will take place at the end of June, so that the Galata Tower can, already renovated, reopen on September 15.

“Some characteristics of the Galata Tower will also change. There are cafes, restaurants, kitchens and offices inside. We are going to eliminate all activities that are incompatible with the essence of the Galata Tower,” said Ersoy.

One of the main icons of tourism in Istanbul

The goal is for the new Galata Tower to become a major tourist attraction for passengers arriving at the new Galataport, the future large ferry passenger terminal that is being built in the Karaköy area.

In addition, the minister noted that the surroundings of the tower will also be reformed to become a “cultural plaza“, for which several buildings will be expropriated so that the area recovers its historic appearance.

The Galata Tower is not only one of the tallest and oldest towers in Istanbul, but also one of its main icons for tourism, visited every year by thousands of people. It was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony of ancient Constantinople as part of the defences of the old Pera neighbourhood, the current Beyoğlu, and since then it has been part not only of the history but of the silhouette of Istanbul.