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Galata Bridge Istanbul

Galata Bridge Istanbul
The first Galata Bridge was built in 1845 at the request of the mother of Sultan Abdulmecid and was named the Cisr-i Cedid or New Bridge to differentiate it from an earlier bridge built further along the Golden Horn known as the Cisr-i Atik or Old Bridge.
It was in use for 18 years and in 1863 was replaced by a wooden bridge built by Ethem Pertev Pasa on the orders of Sultan Abdulaziz to prepare for the visit of Napoleon III to Istanbul.

After 37 years of service, construction of a third bridge began and the 480m long x 14m wide span, resting on 24 pontoons was completed in 1912 in time to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Sultan Mehmet V’s ascension to the throne. For the first three days crossing the bridge was free after which a toll known as ‘mürüriye’ was paid to the Naval Ministry and the first time motor cars crossed the bridge from Eminonu to Karakoy was in January of 1914.

Construction of another new bridge began in 1987 and unfortunately in May 1992, due to a fire, the historical Galata Bridge was extensively damaged before construction of the new bridge was ready and works had to be rushed to complete the new bridge which opened in June 1992. Parts of the old bridge were made up into 11 plaques and erected at the site in the Karakoy district and the parts that remained undamaged were transported away and placed on the foot of the Ataturk Bridge located in the Unkapani district.  

The Galata Bridge linked the traditional part of Istanbul ; the imperial palace and principal religious and secular institutions of the empire with the Galata , Beyoglu , Sisli and Harbiye areas that were occupied by non-Muslims, foreign merchants and diplomats thus bonding different civilisations and cultures and because of its architectural beauty and romantic location it appears in many paintings and engravings.

Leonardo Da Vinci was invited to Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II in the 16th century to design a bridge linking Eminonu to Karakoy and plans and letters referring to the bridge are held in Topkapi Palace today, unfortunately the Sultan did not approve with his design. Michelangelo was also invited to design a bridge and his plans were also rejected and further plans to build the bridge were shelved until the 19th century.


Galata Bridge is located in Eminonu district of Fatih .

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