Galata Bridge is the
heart of Istanbul, spanning the Golden
Horn from Karaköy on
the north to Old Istanbul, centered
on Sultanahmet, on
Crossing the bridge you look west
toward Europe and east across
the Bosphorus to Üsküdar and Asia.
Right at the northern end is Karaköy (Galata),
a Genoese colony during Byzantine times.
It is said that Sultan Beyazid
II commissioned Leonardo
da Vinci to design a bridge
to span the Golden Horn in 1503,
only 50 years after the city was
captured from the Byzantines. The
great artist and engineer did the
design, but alas the bridge was never
The present Galata Bridge,
built in 1992, replaced a much-loved
pontoon bridge dating from 1912 that
gently swayed and rolled as the seas
moved beneath it.
ferryboats leave from Karaköy for Haydarpasa
Station (terminus for Asian/Anatolian
trains) and the bedroom suburb of Kadiköy.
At the southern end is Eminönü,
with the Egyptian
(Spice) Market, the New
Mosque (Yeni Cami),
station (terminus for trains
Ferries depart the Eminönü
docks for Üsküdar,
and the Princes
Islands. Car ferries cross the
Bosphorus to Harem,
Above, beneath Galata
Tower, anglers catch
fish from the top deck of Galata
Bridge while diners
eat fish below.
south from Galata
Tower over Galata
Bridge toward Eminönü and Old
turns the Golden
Horn to gold beneath
the old Galata Bridge.