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In ancient times Galata was known as Sykai. It is written that, during the Byzantine Empire it was surrounded by walls which later collapsed. The most golden age of Galata started in the 12th century when wealthy Genoese settled there. After the 13th century, the area became a Latin colony under the sovereignity of the Genoese. Galata, which later became a mosaic of various languages and religions, is famous for its tower, the Galata Tower.

The Galata Tower was constructed in 1384 and has been used for many purposes over time, such as an observation center, a place to keep the prisoners from the fleets and a fire observation station. It had to be rebuilt in 1832 by Mahmut II because of the great Galata fire in 1794. The conical top of the tower, which was blown away by a storm in 1875, was replaced in 1967.

The most interesting thing about the tower is the fact that the famous Ottoman scholar Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew here to Uskudar on the opposite side of the Bosphorus, using the wings he had made himself.

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