Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)


Galata Tower, Andriani Watercolor Like a great minaret, the Galata Tower represents so much more than meets the eye.

Built in 1348 as the re-imagining of an earlier structure the tower has gone from hosting inmates, as a prison, to holding great secrets as an observatory for the astrologer Takıyeddin Efendi. What’s more, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi the 17th century aviator… if you can call him that… achieved, through his scientific mastery, sustained flight that actually carried him from the Tower, over the Bosphorus, and landed him safely on the Asian side. 

Busking Euro-Gypsies surround the base of Galata as if worshiping an idol, strumming rhythms on deep acoustic guitars and homemade drums. Like a great heartbeat at the core of an old world metropolis.

From the balcony (at 51.65m) a rewarding panorama of Istanbul waits to expose all the secrets of modern life. A warmth emanates from the Ottoman palaces, the mosques, and grand Genoese structures all spilling their histories across the skyline. If that’s not cool enough to warrant a visit then maybe the swanky cafe on the top floor will get your attention…

This is the lure of the Orient. Of the East.

12 thoughts on “Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

  1. ahhh… how warm and deep and lovingly tender your words as if caress the Lady Tower… hard to resist your call to visit this Mysterious Mistress

  2. Interesting stuff. There’s a famous monk who flew from the tower at Malmsbury abbey, broke both his legs. Was he trying to be a bird or an angel? So was he a scientist or a heretic, or both? We will never know.

  3. “A warmth emanates from the Ottoman palaces, the mosques, and grand Genoese structures all spilling their histories across the skyline” That’s so prosaic and lovely! Wonderful sketch and wonderful words – a great combination!

  4. I lived in Istanbul for 2 years – ish teaching English as a foreign language and paid many a visit to the Galata Tower. There was a rooftop cafe near there I’d frequent quite a bit too. After reading you bio I want to thank you for a fresh look at culture shock. It is a right of passage and it’s ok if it happens. How different Istanbul is, although it boasts of it’s European side, from Europe. Nonetheless so rich in history.

  5. Haha. To be honest, I am not the one to ask when it comes to naming art piece price. Lol.

    Wow, I agreed with that! Surely it is the place for all things hand-made, vintage etc… I think it is a good platform. After all, your sketches are beautiful!

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