The towers of Istanbul

The towers of Istanbul

Although the Mosques erected on its major hills form the silhoutte of Istanbul¬†historic peninsula, the towers of Istanbul are the city’s true gems.

All there towers are integral components of Istanbul’s identity, be it for their value as symbols. Beyazit Fire Tower, for example, built so that the city would not be destroyed in the fires for which it was famous, was prominently located for averting this danger. The Galata Tower as well served the same purpose for many years. And the historic Maiden’s tower, due to its strategic location, was used mainly for military purposes prior to the Ottoman period. Standing in the strait, which was finally secured by the Ottomans.

It was used for roles in keeping with its own mission as “the Pearl of the Bosphorus” and become a lifesaving tower that guided ships and saved them from striking the rocks and being dragged off course.


Galata Tower

This tower was erected for purposes of defence in 1438 by Genoese, who were involved in strife with the Byzantines. It rose atop a hill together with the walls punctuated by small towers that encircled the city’s upper districts. Although little remains of those walls, which were razed at the behest of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

Galata Tower

The Maiden’s Tower

Among Istanbul’s towers, this is perhaps the most legendary,which has made it one of the city’s most critical symbols. It has been rebuilt and changed in shape many times since it was first constructed. The sources speak of a structure already in 411 B.C but don’t mention a building on the scale of tower. From Time to time it has also served as a place of punishment for certain state officials.

Maidens Tower

Beyazit Fire Tower

Prior to the building of today’s stone tower, other wooden fire towers stood in the same district. When these were destroyed in various fires, this tower was finally erected in their place in 1828, very probobly by Sernerkim Balyan. Although partially destroyed by fire in 1894, it was restored in keeping with the Original. The destruction in a fire of this tower, which built expressly to prevent fires, is surely a straight twist of fate.

beyazit fire tower

Yildiz and Dolmabahce Towers

Sultan Abdulhamit II, who only appeared in public to go to the Friday prayers, was eager offset his invisibility through public buildings, so he had clock towers built in the empire’s major cities such as Istanbul, Damascus and Izmir Dolmabahce Clock Tower, which, together with the Maiden’s tower, make a consummate a appearance on the banks of the Bosphorus, was built by the Balyan Family of architects between 1890 and 1894. Rising twenty-seven meters in height in a marble platform, it reflects a style that ¬†incorporates elements of the Baroque, Neoclassical and Empire. Like Dolmabahce, Yildiz Clock Tower, built in 1890, was also built in an eclectic style but ranked higher in state protocol because it stood next to Yildiz palace, the new seat of power in the Ottoman capital.

Yildiz and Dolmabahce Towers


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