Christea Turris , Tower Of Christ , Megalos Pyrgos , Hezarfen Tower
Structure in General
The tower was known by the Byzantines as "Megalos Pyrgos" (The Great Tower). Later, during part of the Ottoman era the public called it "Hezarfen Tower" after Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi.
In 1638 Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi glided on artificial wings from the top of the tower to the slopes of Chrysopolis (Scutari) on the Asian side - becoming one of the first men in history to fly. He was awarded a vast quantity of gold by Sultan Murad IV, but later exiled to Algeria for witchcraft.
The film "Istanbul Under My Wings" dramatizes the events of Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi's life, including his flight from Galata Tower across the Bosphorus.
In the Byzantine period, Galata Tower controlled one end of the massive sea chain which closed the entrance of the Golden Horn.
Built in 1348 as the "Christea Turris" (Tower of Christ) by Genoese colonists at the highest point of the citadel of Galata - which was then a Genoese colony independent from Constantinople.
The 66.90 meter tower (62.59 m without the ornament on top) was the city's tallest building when built. It is still one of Istanbul's main landmarks, standing at the highest point of the medieval Genoese Quarter and visible from almost any part of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
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