Guide to SKOPJE

The walls of Galata Tower hide big, unspoken mysteries


Sometimes a wall is more than just a wall. Walls and buildings hide secrets inside them that none of us knows, hence the proverb “If walls could speak…”. From time to time I wonder what the walls of old buildings in Istanbul have to say. I would like to hear the real story of Istanbul from them…

One of those buildings is the Galata Tower in Istanbul. Medieval Galata Tower is located in the Galata quarter, near the Golden Horn Bridge. It is visible at the end of every street that runs from Karakoy to the famous Istiklal Caddesi. If you take a ride on the ferry, despite the large number of buildings around, it winks at you like a shinning pearl, as if trying to say – I’m here, look at my history and splendor. It looks a bit miserable though, longing for the good old days.

Galata Tower is full of mystery. It looks down onIstanbulfrom the top, seeing what no one else can, knowing what no one else knows. One such story is the suicide of young Vedat, the son of the poet Umit Yasar Oguzcan. He failed to save his son, who jumped from the tower at the age of 23. No one can tell what pain is built into the stone walls of the tower.


The poet expressed his deep pain for the death of his son through a poem:

June 6th, 1973

A lovely, hot summer day

The world was beautiful and bright,

That day from the tower fell a man,

He suddenly hurled into the air,

In the spring of his life,

Along with all his hopes,

Scattered in pieces,

A man fell from the Galata Tower,

That man was my son ….

It is a known fact that if you don’t visit the Tower and see Istanbul through its eyes, you have not seen the real Istanbul. One of its most famous legends is the legend of Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi. In the 17th century he tried to fly from the tower to Uskudar with wings attached to his arms. After several attempts he managed to do it with the help of the wind blowing him over the Bosphorus to Uskudar. After this event the tower was also called Hezarfen Tower.

Now the Tower silently rises in the heart of Istanbul, keeping its secrets just to itself. If you travel to Istanbul you must visit it and recall of the story of Hezarfen, and the tragic death of Vedat. There is a restaurant on the top that offers a spectacular view of the city ofIstanbuland the Bosphorus (the entrance costs 10 Turkish liras-about 4.5 euros) and it is then that you will realise that this building is more than just a bunch of stones.

3D tour on the following link:

A few photos through Balcon3 camera, whose reporter recently visited the Galata Tower.

Husamedin Gina