The Galata area was a thriving Italian settlement both before and after the fall of Constantinople, and the Genoese built this tower as part of their fortifications in 1348, when they controlled the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The hillside location provided good defense, as well as a perch from which to monitor the comings and goings of vessels in the sea lanes below. The 67-meter (220 feet) tower later served at times as a jail and at others as a fire tower and now houses a restaurant at the top. The viewing gallery, which offers fabulous panoramic views of the city and across the Golden Horn and Sea of Marmara, is accessible by elevator and open during the day, for a rather steep fee—though it bears noting that similar views can be had at rooftop cafés and restaurants around the area.
Büyük Hendek Cad., Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey