Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

Galata Tower, Andriani Watercolor Like a great minaret, the Galata Tower represents so much more than meets the eye.

Built in 1348 as the re-imagining of an earlier structure the tower has gone from hosting inmates, as a prison, to holding great secrets as an observatory for the astrologer Takıyeddin Efendi. What’s more, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi the 17th century aviator… if you can call him that… achieved, through his scientific mastery, sustained flight that actually carried him from the Tower, over the Bosphorus, and landed him safely on the Asian side. 

Busking Euro-Gypsies surround the base of Galata as if worshiping an idol, strumming rhythms on deep acoustic guitars and homemade drums. Like a great heartbeat at the core of an old world metropolis.

From the balcony (at 51.65m) a rewarding panorama of Istanbul waits to expose all the secrets of modern life. A warmth emanates from the Ottoman palaces, the mosques, and grand Genoese structures all spilling their histories across the skyline. If that’s not cool enough to warrant a visit then maybe the swanky cafe on the top floor will get your attention…

This is the lure of the Orient. Of the East.

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About Nicholas Andriani

In 2012 I bought a one-way ticket to Casablanca, Morocco, sold my car, picked up an Arabic dictionary and enrolled in an archaeological field school in the Middle East. As a student of archaeology, driven by the desire to see every inch of this planet (borders and politics be damned), I set out to get to the bottom of who I am and what I want from this world. Traveling mostly on foot I hitchhiked around North Africa, hiked Spain’s Mediterranean coast , caught a plane to Egypt where I wandered across Sinai into the Middle East and settled in Jordan, living amongst Bedouin and colleagues working on an excavation. Intrigued by the crisis in Syria I began tagging along with journalists, who were anticipating the extreme force that was to come, before making my way into Palestine and Israel where I found a land cloaked in obscurity and experienced a full paradigm shift. Landlocked I caught a plane to Greece and roamed the ancient landscapes, island-hopping my way to Turkey. Experienced the best of Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul. And with one final burst of energy, found my way back home to the States.This is my story, and those to come. Posts are not sorted chronologically, rather they find their way to the blogosphere when I feel it’s high time they make their debut. Between travels i’ll be working on my first book. A memoir titled “Yallah, Bye“ in which i’ll recount my wild days abroad during the Arab spring. Finding love, loss, and culture shock a way of life, a right of passage. I’ll be diving into anthropology, foodie nonsense, history, and daily life of the worlds I had the good fortune to visit. Thanks for taking your time to visit my page and be sure to say “hello”! -Nicholas Andriani
This entry was posted in Art, asia, Backpacking, City Guide, Culture, Europe, history, Istanbul, Middle East, Sketching Sites, Travel, travel writing, Watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

  1. Tara Ewashy says:

    I just love your writing style. It is elegant and prosaic, and you can draw too! Very unfair.

  2. Jouena says:

    ahhh… how warm and deep and lovingly tender your words as if caress the Lady Tower… hard to resist your call to visit this Mysterious Mistress

  3. Don Royster says:

    Beautiful sketch. I looked up Takıyeddin Efendi on wikipedia. There isn’t an article. You might want to write one.

  4. Interesting stuff. There’s a famous monk who flew from the tower at Malmsbury abbey, broke both his legs. Was he trying to be a bird or an angel? So was he a scientist or a heretic, or both? We will never know.

  5. aishasoasis says:

    “A warmth emanates from the Ottoman palaces, the mosques, and grand Genoese structures all spilling their histories across the skyline” That’s so prosaic and lovely! Wonderful sketch and wonderful words – a great combination!

  6. Myas says:

    I lived in Istanbul for 2 years – ish teaching English as a foreign language and paid many a visit to the Galata Tower. There was a rooftop cafe near there I’d frequent quite a bit too. After reading you bio I want to thank you for a fresh look at culture shock. It is a right of passage and it’s ok if it happens. How different Istanbul is, although it boasts of it’s European side, from Europe. Nonetheless so rich in history.

  7. Khai says:

    Sell your sketch! Lol.

    • Name your price ;) Actually, I plan on opening an ETSY shop to sell prints of my work and maybe a photo or two. What do you think?

      • Khai says:

        Haha. To be honest, I am not the one to ask when it comes to naming art piece price. Lol.

        Wow, I agreed with that! Surely it is the place for all things hand-made, vintage etc… I think it is a good platform. After all, your sketches are beautiful!

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