About Galata Bridge in Istanbul

The oldest recorded bridge over the Golden Horn was built as a simple one in 1453 during the Turkish siege of the city. In the beginning of 16th century it was decided to build a permanent bridge here and Leonardo da Vinci designed a single span bridge with double pillars at either end, 250 meters long, 8 meters wide and 24 meters high. However, technical drawbacks made it impossible to realize this project. Than another Italian artist, Michelangelo, was invited to design a bridge for Istanbul but he rejected the proposal, and the idea of building a bridge on the Golden Horn was shelved until the 19th century. In the early 19th century sultan 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. The bridge was built on linked pontoons and was around 500 to 540 meters long.