Where is Galata Bridge? Galata Bridge History

where is the galata bridge
where is the galata bridge

Galata Bridge is the bridge built on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, connecting Karaköy and Eminönü.

Galata Bridge, which was completed and put into service in December 1994 and is currently in service, is a 490 meter long and 80 meter weighbridge bridge. It is one of the rare bascule bridges in the world over which a tram passes.

The first bridge connecting the Golden Horn and known as the "Galata Bridge" was built in 1845. This bridge was renovated in 1863, 1875 and 1912; Built in 1912, the First National Architecture Movement style bridge has become one of the symbols of the city. The Galata Bridge, which is the symbol of the city, was burned in 1992 and its name was "Historical Galata Bridge".

Historic Galata Bridge

Throughout history, many bridges have been built that connect the two sides of the Golden Horn. According to the earliest records, the first bridge over the Golden Horn was built by Justinian I in the 6th century. Byzantine historians write that the first bridge on the Golden Horn was built during the reign of Justinian I (6th century) and its name is 'Aghios Khalinikos Bridge'. Although its location is not known exactly, it is estimated that this stone bridge, which consists of 12 arches, is between Eyüp and Sütlüce.

Fatih Sultan Mehmet also built a bridge to the Golden Horn during the conquest of Istanbul. This bridge, which consists of giant barrels connected by iron rings and with thick planks on it, was between Ayvansaray and Kasımpaşa. Nişancı Mehmet Pasha says that this bridge is not made of barrels, but of ships anchored side by side and tied together by beams. This mobile bridge was used when Istanbul was conquered in 1453, to allow armies to cross from one side of the Golden Horn to the other.

In the years 1502-1503, plans to build the first permanent bridge in the region were being discussed. First attempt for Galata Bridge II. It was built during the Beyazit period. Sultan Beyazid II asked Leonardo da Vinci to make a design. Leonardo da Vinci presented a Golden Horn Bridge design to the sultan. The bridge prepared for the Golden Horn was single span 240 meters long and 24 meters wide. Had it been built, it would have been the longest bridge in the world. However, when this design did not get the approval of the sultan, the project was shelved. Mikelanj, another Italian artist, was invited to Istanbul for the bridge. Mikelanj turned down this offer. After that, the idea of ​​building a bridge that would cross the Golden Horn was shelved until the 19th century.

Hayratiye Bridge

Then in the 19th century, Sultan II. A long distance bridge was built between Azapkapı and Unkapanı by Mahmut (1808-1839). This bridge, whose opening date was September 3, 1836, was known as "Hayratiye", "Cisr-i Atik" and "Old Bridge". The project was carried out by High Admiral Fevzi Ahmet Pasha using the workers and naval shipyard facilities. According to the historian Lüti, this bridge was built with a pontoon connection. It was about 500-540 meters long. The bridge was destroyed in 1912.

Jisr-i Cedid 

350 years after Leonardo da Vinci's design seemed technically impossible to realize first modern Galata bridgeIt was built by his mother Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan in 1845, during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid, and was used for 18 years. The bridge was named 'Cisr-i Cedid', 'Valide Bridge', 'New Bridge', 'Big Bridge', 'New Mosque Bridge', 'Pigeon Bridge'. On the Karaköy side of the bridge, there was a couplet of Şinasi, who stated that the new bridge was built by Sultan Abdülmecid Han. Sultan Abdülmecid was the first to cross the bridge. The first ship to pass under it was the Cygne ship, used by the French captain Magnan. For the first three days, the bridge crossing was free. On October 25, 1845, the bridge toll, known as the mürurye, was collected by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. Bridge tolls were as follows:

  • free: Army and law enforcement personnel, fire extinguishers on duty, priests
  • 5 para: Pedestrians
  • 10 para: backpackers
  • 20 para: backpacker animals
  • 100 money: Horse carriage
  • 3 para: sheep, goats and other animals.

Over the years, new Galata bridges were built to replace Cisr-i Cedid, but the white uniformed officers standing on both ends of the bridge collected the toll fee until 31 May 1930.

Second bridge 

This bridge was built upon the order of Sultan Abdulaziz (1861-1876), III. It was built by Ethem Pertev Pasha just before Napoleon's visit to Istanbul and was installed in its place in 1863.

The third bridge 

A French company in 1870 Forget the Chantiers de la Mediteranee A contract for the construction of the third bridge was signed with. However, the outbreak of war between France and Germany delayed the project. The old contract was terminated and the construction of the new bridge was given to the British firm G. Wells in 1872. The bridge was completed in 1875. The new bridge was 480 meters long, 14 meters wide and stood on 24 pontoons. Its cost was 105,000 gold liras. This bridge was used until 1912 and on that date it was pulled further up the Golden Horn.

Fourth bridge 

The fourth bridge was built by the German firm MAN AG in 1912 for 350,000 gold liras. The bridge was 466 meters long and 25 meters wide. This bridge was used until the fire on May 16, 1992. The cause of the bridge's burning is still unknown. After the burning bridge was repaired, it was placed between Balat and Hasköy, and a modern bridge, known today as the "Galata Bridge", was built. The fourth bridge is now “Old Galata Bridge, also known as "Historic Galata BridgeIt is known as ”.

The historical Galata Bridge was removed from the Golden Horn at the end of 2016 and taken for repair after waiting for years in the middle of the Golden Horn with the claim that it prevents the water circulation in the Golden Horn. It is unclear how it will be evaluated after repair. 


The fifth Galata Bridge was built a few meters north of the previous bridge by the STFA company. The bridge, whose construction was completed in December 1994, connected Eminönü and Karaköy, like the others. It was designed and inspected by GAMB (Göncer Ayalp Engineering Bureau). The fifth Galata Bridge is a 490-meter-long and 80-meter-long bascule bridge that can be opened. The surface of the bridge is 42 meters wide and there is a 3-lane road and a pedestrian path in all directions. Of the tram line KabataşAs a result of the extension of the bridge, two lanes in the middle of the bridge are divided into tramway. This bridge is one of the rare bascule bridges in the world that trams cross, as well as the Trowse Bridge in Norwich and several bridges in the United States.

However, tramway construction caused many problems due to the bridge not being designed for such an extension. The main problem was that the lines did not touch each other when the doors were opened and closed. The restaurant and market section under the bridge was opened in 2003.


Galata Bridge, which has become one of the traditional icons of Istanbul today, bears the symbolism of "the bridge that connects two cultures" as it connects New Istanbul (Karaköy, Beyoğlu, Harbiye) and Old Istanbul (Sultanahmet, Fatih, Eminönü).

In Peyami Safa's novel "Fatih Harbiye", A person who goes from Fatih district to Harbiye via a bridge places different civilizations and different cultures on their feet. he says. Although the Galata Bridge is not very different from other bridges in design (even if it has a very boring design compared to the bridges of Paris or Budapest), it has been the subject of many writers, painters, directors and engravers due to its cultural value.

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