Found project: Galata Tower

    Project : Galata Tower

    Language variant : Galata Kulesi

    Architect : n/a

    Locality : Istanbul

    Country : Turkey

    Building style : Byzantine

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    “The best place to relive the historic siege of Constantinople (the 2nd crusade in 1204) is from the top of the fourteenth century Galata Tower which stands on the opposite shore to the city overlooking the Golden Horn and its junction with the Bosphorus… The crusader’s first attack on 9 April failed. But three das later they tried again to breach the wall along the Golden Horn, and standing on the top of the Galata Tower you can imagine the Venetian fleet manoeuvring their transports close to the walls. ‘When they were at anchor, they began to attack vigorously and to shoot and hurl stones and throw Greek fire on the towers…’ Robert of Clari explains that the Greeks had built high wooden platforms on the towers along the wall from which the soldiers could shoot down at the ships and at the men posted in the rigging. But the Venetians had built even taller floating siege towers on ships, some bound together in pairs. Long spars from the rigging were used to make bridges that could be lowered from the towers to the wall when the ships got close enough. Robert of Clari saw the Bishop of Soisson’s ship, lifted by the swell, strike the side of a tower. ‘On a bridge of their sip there was a Venetian and two armed knights, and as the ship struck against the tower the Venetian took hold of it with his hands and feet as best he could and got himself inside.’ He was cut down by Byzantine troops and English and Danish mercenaries; the ship lurched against the tower a second time and another knight got across and drove the defenders out.”

    Malcolm Billings, The Cross and the Crescent: A history of the Crusades, BBC Books, London, 1987, pp. 131, 134.

    Ed. Adzhoa Makkonen

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    Galata Tower
    Galata Tower
    Image © Heikki Hanka