Galata was a significant region across the Constantinople during the rule of Byzantine. Passing of the Genoese to Galata happened by the end of the 12th century. Especially in 13th century, after İstanbul was taken back from the Latins, Genoese obtained very privileged rights from the Byzantine. Additionally, they took advantage of the weakness of the Empire and surrounded the region with the ramparts.
Ottomans didn't construct religios complex in Galata
Galata Colony used to be governed by a Governor assigned by Republic of Genova and named as ‘podesta’. The ramparts of Galata include the nobility emblem of the popular families of Genova. It is assumed that the chain stressed across the Golden Horn was tied on this fortress during the blockade of Istanbul. Following that the Ottomans invaded this region, they preserved this area and didn’t construct Islamic-Ottoman social complex in here.
Arab Mosque is the oldest mosque
Arab Mosque, the oldest mosque of İstanbul is located in here. Moreover, nine-domed magnificent Fatih Covered Bazaar dated around 1480 is located in Galata. Inns of the 18th Century can also be seen even today between streets. At the end of 18th century and in 19th century, many big commercial centers having the plan and facade characteristics of European commercial buildings were built in Galata region. Bankalar Caddesi has rows of Ottoman-era bank buildings, including the headquarters of the Ottoman Central Bank. Several ornaments that were originally on the facade of the Genoese Palace were used to embellish these 19th-century bank buildings.
The Kamondo Steps
The Kamondo Steps, a famous pedestrian stairway designed with an early Art Nouveau styles, and built in 1880 by the renowned Jewish banker Salomon Kamondo is also located on Bankalar Street. The seaside mansion of the Kamondo family popularly known as the Kamondo Palace, was built between 1869. It is located on the northern shore of the Halic, within the nearby Kasımpasa. It later became the headquarters of the Ministry of the Navy.
Following the foundation of Republic, the surrounding of Galata started to change during 1960s. Galata, having been exposed to a big migration in 80s used to look like abandoned until 2000. Family life was almost nowhere. However, in the recent 10 years it became a popular area again. Apart-hotels and cafes were opened. Italian and Germans are interested to invest in the area as well as the Turks.