Sunday, December 19, 2010

Galata Tower, musical instruments

I was over in the Pera area of Istanbul for the International Women of Istanbul's Christmas luncheon, and afterwards, I took a walk to find the Galata Tower, which is a famous landmark in the Beyoglu section of Istanbul. This picture is taken from the Eminonu section of Istanbul, with the Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn in the foreground and the Galata Tower on the hill.

This was not my first time looking for the Galata Tower. The tower is not at the top of the hill, but down a bit. I took the narrow lane which is home to musical instrument shops. Modern day cymbals were invented in Istanbul in 1618 by an Armenian alchemist who was mixing copper, tin and silver to make gold. He did not get the gold result, but did get a metal with a nice sound to it, which impressed the sultan, who gave him the name Zildjian; zil being the Turkish word for cymbal. Zildian cymbals are still made today.
Turkey also claims the invention of kettle drums, and here, a pair from the Military Museum. Kettle drums were used by the military in the 17th to 19th centuries.

I reached the Galata Tower, which was built in 1348 by the Genoese community who lived in this area. Walls were also built, although not many remain.
The tower is 9 stories tall and is made of stone with an occasional brick.

Tourists and locals were posing by the tower for pictures. I was by myself, so had a bird pose for me.
There is panaoramic view of old Istanbul from the top of the tower, that I am saving for another day - one that does not start with a large Christmas lunch.

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