Galata In 72 Hours
Where to go and what to see in 3 days while you stay at Meroddi Hotels.
Daily itinerary for a 3 day visit.
Please don't forget to check the travel map.
10:00 Kılıç Ali Pasha MosqueKılıç Ali Pasha Mosque InfoIt is one of Architect Sinan’s most important 16th century works. With a plan similar to Ayasofya, Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque was commissioned by the Italian-born Giovanni Dionigi Galeni, who was captured and made slave by Mediterranean pirates on his way to Naples to study for the priesthood. Giovanni ended up in the service of the sultan, finally being made an Ottoman grand admiral. That’s how he took the name “Kılıç Ali Pasha.”
10:30 Tophane FountainTophane Fountain InfoLocated between Nusretiye Mosque and Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque in the square of Tophane neighbourhood, Tophane Fountain (Çeşmesi) is an 18th-century public water fountain commissioned by Ottoman Sultan Mahmud I. It was built in the Ottoman rococo architecture in an era that great importance was attached to the construction of many reservoirs and public fountains in İstanbul. Its marble walls with floral design are beautiful. The name of the neighbourhood was derived from the imperial cannon foundry, known as Tophane-i Amire.
11:00 Istanbul ModernIstanbul Modern InfoThe Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which the New York Times called “the changing face of Turkey,” is the most prominent of Istanbul’s contemporary galleries. Founded in 2004 in the huge former warehouse on the shores of the Bosphorus, the museum displays everything from the masters of modern Turkish art to international shows. Although its restaurant is not the main attraction, it is the most enjoyable masterpiece for many visitors. Free guided tours are organized on Thursdays and Sundays at 5pm. But you must reserve yourself a place in advance.
13:00 Lunch Break
14:15 Underground MosqueUnderground Mosque InfoThis is the only mosque in the world where you step down the stairs to enter into a series of low-vaulted corridors. This 8th century structure was once the dungeons of the Galata Castle, where Byzantines stretched a chain across the Golden Horn to deter possible invaders. The place was converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II after the Conquest of 1453.
15:45 Salt MuseumSalt Museum InfoLocated in the historic Anglo-French Ottoman Bank on Bankalar Caddesi (formerly known as Voyvoda Street), this cutting-edge institution houses an exhibition space, an arts research library, an auditorium and an Open Archive of books, magazines, articles, CD/DVDs and theses. It is worthwhile just to see the building that is designed in 1892 by the Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury. There is a cafe in the first floor and a restaurant on the roof.
16:30 Church of SS Peter & PaulChurch of SS Peter & Paul InfoThe church’s history dates back to the 13th-century Dominican Church of Saint Paul, just 200 m. down the hill. When Mehmed II converted the original church into a mosque (now the Arap Cami) in 1475, the friars of the Dominican Order moved up the hill to a house owned by the Venetian nobleman named Angelo Zaccaria. He then handed over the place to the Dominicans who continued to use it as a church. The existing building was erected in 1843 by Swiss-Italian brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. Today, the church serves the local Maltese community, with masses in Italian.
10:00 Crimean Memorial ChurchCrimean Memorial Church InfoOfficially known as the Christ Church, this beautiful Anglican temple (below the German High School in Tünel) was built in 1868 by the architect of London’s Law Courts as a memorial to the Crimean War, fought between the French, the British and the Ottomans on one side and Russia on the other (1853-1856). During the Gulf war, the building functioned as a refuge for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who fled from Kuwait. This small community keep the church going these days. Take a moment to see the minaret-like belfry that still overlooks the Bosphorus waterway. And do not forget to spare a few minutes to the beautiful paintings along the balcony in front of the organ.
11:00 Whirling DerwishesWhirling Derwishes InfoA short way down the Galip Dede Street, it is Mevlevi Lodge (Galata Mevlevihanesi). Built in 1492 by a direct descendant of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi -also known as Mevlana- the place was called historically as a tekke, a lodge of the mystical brotherhood. Banned and abandoned early in secular Turkish republic, Galata Mevlevihanesi re-opened its doors in 1975, this time as a museum and a library, devoted to the mystical writings of the Sufi poets and dervishes. Performances are given by whirling Mevlevi dervishes every Sunday at 5-6pm.
13:00 Lunch Break
14:00 Schneidertempel Art CentreSchneidertempel Art Centre InfoSince the Ashkenazi community diminished, this former synagogue serves as an art and exhibition centre now, under the name Schneidertempel Art Centre. Terziler Synagogue (lit. “Tailors’ Synagogue”), or “Tofre Begadim Synagogue” as the Jewish community calls it, belonged to Ashkenazi Jews. It was built through an 1839 edict of Sultan Abdülhamid II, which was granted as a reward to Mayer Shonman, the head of Tailors’ Guild and the imperial tailor of janissaries. The synagogue was opened for service in 1894 after the completion of the construction by the Tailors’ Guild.
15:30 Galata TowerGalata Tower InfoAlthough Genoese were forbidden, under the Byzantine rule, to fortify the colony, they enclosed portions of the neighbourhoods behind thick crenelated walls. Galata Tower is the landmark in these walls. Originally known as the Tower of Christ, it was built in 1348 with walls almost 4 m. thick as the apex of the fortifications of Genoese Galata. Thoroughly rebuilt several times in the history, the tower was opened to the public in 1967. Today it has a café/restaurant on its upper floor with panoramic view of Istanbul.
10:00 Medieval PortalMedieval Portal InfoAt the far end of the Yanık Kapı Sokağı (Burnt House Street), you will come across a remnant of the Genoese past: the only surviving portal of the Medieval Galata. On the outer face of the portal, there is a tablet of marble decorated with the cross of St. George, symbol of Genoa “the Superb,” between a pair of escutcheons bearing a coat of arms of the prominent Italian families; Doria and De Merude. Because the gateway was closed down during the subway construction work, the terrace of Bohem Galata Café (Yolcu Hamamı Sok. No. 8) may be the best place to spot city’s old gateway with the tablet.
11:00 Arap MosqueArap Mosque InfoThe “Arap Camii,” which is situated on Nafe Sokak, was originally a Roman Catholic Church erected in the 13th century by the friars of the Dominican Order dedicated to Saint Paul in 1233. Although the structure was altered and converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period, it is the only example of medieval religious Gothic architecture remaining in Istanbul. Recently, it was uncovered that the building was originally decorated with frescoes illustrating Biblical depictions. Now they were plastered over.
12:00 Azapkapı FountainAzapkapı Fountain InfoBuilt in 1732-1733 for the Valide Sultan Saliha, mother of Sultan Mahmud I, Azapkapı Fountain is perhaps the most attractive 18th century baroque fountain in Istanbul. The facades are covered with floral motifs and fruit trees in low relief.
12:15 Sokullu Mehmet Pasha MosqueSokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque InfoBeyond the fountain, one may see interesting seaside mosque of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, known as Azapkapı Mosque as well. Built by Chief Architect Sinan in 1577-8 for the Grand Vizier, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, the mosque has gone under several restorations till today.
13:00 Lunch Break
14:30 Yelkenciler HanYelkenciler Han InfoOne of the oldest buildings along the Golden Horn from the Ottoman era. This 17th century han - once adjacent to the medieval walls- was the centre of sailcloth manufacturing in the Ottoman times. Though discontinued the marine supplies production long ago, it still is working.
15:30 Rüstem Pasha CaravanseraiRüstem Pasha Caravanserai InfoBuilt by Sinan for the grand vizier Rüstem Pasha in the mid-16th century as an eight-domed caravanserai, Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai (or Kurşunlu Han) is still a working han. Don’t miss the Corinthian cap on the left at the entrance. It was probably taken from a church that was turned down when the han was built, and pressed into service as part of a water pump.
16:30 Perşembe Pazarı StreetPerşembe Pazarı Street InfoIf you are looking for a vivid portrait of a way of work that is unlikely to last very long, go to the Perşembe Pazarı Caddesi (Street). It is a narrow street -between Tersane Caddesi and Bankalar Caddesi- lined with very picturesque 18th century houses and hans (Serpuş Han etc.) whose upper stories zigzag decoratively and look very medieval. Don’t miss the painting of Galileo, on the ceiling of a room in Serpuş Han, which was built upon the foundations of a Genoese structure. The three-story han full of craftsmen working on various hardware essentials, housed booksellers in the 18th-century.