Thursday, January 9, 2014

Galata Bridge Photo Trek

I've been thru Galata Bridge many times but never did a photo trek on it.  This is the first trek of the year for me and I was lucky the light was beautiful today.   I've got to explore the great Galata Bridge, it's angles, limits, frames and finally  it's people. 

This photo trek takes two hours.  İt is only one bridge but you need time to go upside down, back and forth and explore the great views of the city and the bridge by itself. 

You can start from Karaköy at Beyoğlu District and go all the way down to Eminönu and change perspectives from one side to the other.  There are stairs that will take you to the Restaurant floor and also there are tunels between restaurants that will take you from one side to the other without having to go upstairs again.
The Galata Bridge (in Turkish Galata Köprüsü) is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey. From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels.
  View of Galata Bridge from Karaköy to Emınönu
It is said that Sultan Beyazid II commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to design a bridge to span the Golden Horn in 1503, only 50 years after the city was captured from the Byzantines. The great artist and engineer did the design, showing a single span bridge with double pillars at either end, 350 m long and 24 m wide but alas the bridge was never built.
View of Karaköy from the restaurant level.

Another Italian artist, Michelangelo was invited to design a bridge for Istanbul. Michelangelo rejected the proposal, and the idea of building a bridge here was shelved until the 19th century. In the early 19th century Mahmut II (1808-1839) had a bridge built at some distance up the waterway between Azapkapi and Unkapani. This bridge, known as the Hayratiye, was opened on 3 September 1836. The project was carried out by Deputy Lord High Admiral Fevzi Ahmet Pasa using the workers and facilities of the naval arsenal. According to the History of Lutfi this bridge was built on linked pontoons and was around 500 to 540 m long.

Karaköy's hotels and restaurants.

The first Galata Bridge at the mouth of the waterway was constructed in 1845 by the mother of Sultan Abdulmecid and used for 18 years. It was known as the Cisr-i Cedid or New Bridge to distinguish it from the earlier bridge further up the Golden Horn, which became known as the Cisr-i Atik or Old Bridge.

  View of Haya Sophia from Galata's bridge cafe.
The New Bridge was built by Abdulmecid Han. First to pass over the bridge was Sultan Abdulmecid, and the first to pass below it was the French captain Magnan in his ship the Cygne. For the first three days crossing the bridge was free, after which a toll known as mürüriye was paid to the Naval Ministry. 
This was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863, built by Ethem Pertev Pasa on the orders of Sultan Abdulaziz in readiness for the visit to Istanbul of Napoleon III.

Turkish woman walking from Eminönu to Karaköy with the New Mosque as background.

In 1870 a contract was signed with a French company, Forges et Chantiers de la Mediteranée for construction of a third bridge, but the outbreak of war between France and Germany delayed the project, which was given instead to a British firm G. Wells in 1872. This bridge completed in 1875 was 480 m long and 14 m wide and rested on 24 pontoons. It was built at a cost of 105,000 gold liras. This was used until 1912, when it was pulled upstream to replace the now genuinely old Cisr-i Atik Bridge.

  Fishermen. View from Karaköy.
The fourth Galata Bridge was built in 1912 by the German Man firm for 350,000 gold lira. This bridge was 466 m long and 25 m wide. It is the bridge still familiar to many people today that was badly damaged in a fire in 1992 and towed up the Golden Horn to make way for the modern bridge now in use.

View of the New Mosque view from Galata bridge.

The present Galata Bridge, built in 1992, replaced a much-loved pontoon bridge dating from 1912 that gently swayed and rolled as the seas moved beneath it.

View of Karaköy Iskelesi from Galata's bridge cafe.

Pipes from Dersaadet Cafe at Galata Tower. 
Fisherman with Galata Tower background.
Fisherman at Galata bridge with Galata tower as background.

Karaköy Iskelesi view of Haya Sophia.

Fisherman unhanging fish : )

View of Karaköy from restaurant level at Galata bridge.

View of Eminönu (Süleymaniye mosque) from Galata bridge.

View of the new metro bridge from Galata bridge.

 Fisherman with Süleymaniye mosque background.

Fisherman at Galata Bridge.

Fisherman with Galata tower as background.

Eminonu's view from Galata's bridge.

Eminönu's view from Galata bridge. (Süleymaniye mosque and Rüstem Paşa Camii)

  Galata tower from Eminönu.

I wish you all a year full of light and great moments. I hope this year I can share many more great phototreks with you and grow as a photographer, learn new techniques, change perspectives and be amazed by the beauty around us.
Soreya Reyes

Ps. If you are interested in a photo guide trek in Istanbul inbox for more info:

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