Galata Tower

Istanbul, Turkey

Galata Tower


Galata is the former name of the Karaköy neighbourhood in Istanbul, which is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The district is connected to the historic Fatih district by several bridges that cross the Golden Horn, most notably the Galata Bridge. The medieval citadel of Galata was a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453. The famous Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in 1348 at the northernmost and highest point of the citadel. Galata is now a quarter within the district of Beyoğlu in Istanbul.

There are several theories concerning the origin of the name Galata. The Greeks believe that the name comes either from Galatai (meaning "Gauls"), as the Celtic tribe of Gauls (Galatians) were thought to have camped here during the Hellenistic period before settling into Galatia in central Anatolia; or from galatas (meaning "milkman"), as the area was used by shepherds for grazing in the Early Medieval (Byzantine) period. According to another hypothesis it is a variant of the Italian word calata, which means "a section of the docks of the ports intended for the mooring of merchant ships, for the direct embarkation or disembarkation of goods or passengers, for the temporary storage of goods and marine equipment", since the neighborhood was for centuries a Genoese colony. The name Galata has subsequently been given by the city of Genoa to its naval museum, Galata - Museo del mare, which was opened in 2004.

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