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Istanbul City Guides - Galata Bridge

Galata Bridge

History of the Galata Bridge.

During the Ottoman period, the Galata Bridge had a symbolic link between the traditional and imperial city, and the districts of Galata, Beyoglu, Sisli and Harbiye where a large proportion of the inhabitants are non-Muslims, foreigners and diplomats.

The Galata Bridge In History

  • Hayratiye was built in 1836 by the order of the Sultan Mahmut II between Azapkapı and Unkapanı.
  • Cisr-i Cedid was built between Karaköy and Eminönü in 1845 by Valide Sultan, mother of the Sultan Abdülmecid. The first person to pass under the bridge was the French captain Magnan in his ship The Cygne.
  • Second bridge Cisr-i Cedid was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863 before the visit of Napoeon III during the reign of the Sultan Abdülaziz.
  • Third bridge A new attempt was made for a new bridge by a French company in 1870, but the war between France and Germany delayed the project. Instead, the project was given to a British firm called G. Wells in 1872. This new bridge was used until 1912.
  • Fourth bridge The fourth bridge was a floating bridge and built by a German firm called MAN AG in 1912. This bridge is still familiar to many Istanbulians because it was used until it was damaged in a fire in 1992.
  • Fifth bridge The bridge today is a bascule bridge and was built in 1994 by a Turkish construction firm, STFA.

Did you know?

  • The first bridge project was made by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1502-1503 during the reign of Sultan Beyazıt II? But the project was rejected by the Sultan.
  • Another Italian artist, Michelangelo was invited to design a bridge but also his project didn’t meet with the Sultan’s approval.
  • Officials in white uniform collected a toll until May 31, 1930. They were standing on both ends of the bridge and the fee was free for military, law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, clergy, 3 para for sheep, goat or other animals, 5 para for pedestrians, 10 para for backpacker people, 20 para for backpacker animals, 100 para for horse carriages.

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