It has been known as the Cisr-i Cedid, or the New Bridge, and was constructed in 1845 by Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid I (1823-1861). Admiral Hasan Ahmet Paşa renovated the bridge, putting it back into service in 1863 since it had been damanged in short span of time. At the end of 19th century, Aziziye Karakolu (Police Station) adorned it with eclectic accents built in the fore part of the bridge in the Galata district in order to increase pedestrian traffic and to quell the emerging (rising) discontent of the public.
After 37 years of service, a heavy bridge rolling with waterpower was constructed on the site. It was opened on the third aniversary of Sultan Mehmet V’s ascention to the throne in 1912.
The first time electric cars crossed this bridge between Eminönü and Karaköy was in January of 1914. The construction of a new bridge in the Golden Horn began in 1987. The Historical Galata Bridge was burnt for an unknown reason and a large fired damaged half of the bridge before the construction of the new bridge was completed in May 1992. After the fire, construction of the new bridge was accelerated, and it was opened on the site of the old bridge in June 1992.
The pieces of the old bridge, which was composed of 11 plaques, were left on the site in the Karaköy district, and the undamaged parts of the structure were carried away and placed on the foot in the Arttürk Bridge located in the Unkapanı district.
The Galata Bridge was being adequately protected against fire. Therefore, smoking was prohibited so as not to be burn the wooden platform of the bridge during day time. Moreover, the bridge has since been closed. It was known that the bridge was servicing pedestrians and carriages for hire, so a customary charge was initiated (müruriye).
The Galata Bridge is not only an architectural beauty, but it is also leaves a poetic image the life of the people of Istanbul.
Galata Bridge Projects
Leonardo da Vinci, born in the town of Vinci in the region of Florence, was invited to Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II in the 16th century to built a bridge linking Eminönü to Karaköy. After Leonardo haddecided to come to Istanbul to built the bridge, he was later dissuaded Istanbul by the administration of the time. It appears from letters in the Topkapı Palace today that there was an action of Leonardo da Vinci on this head. The bridge building project of Leonardo da Vinci on the Golden Horn was implemented in Norway in 2000s. Furthermore, there were plans of another bridge project to be made on this site by Michelangelo.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL