Historical Galata Bridge on Golden Horn bids farewell to Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyIstanbul’s old Galata Bridge, which connected two important centers of the city for eight decades before it was taken to a rear point on the Golden Horn for restoration following damage from a major fire, has been entirely removed.
The midsection of the bridge connecting the two banks of the Golden Horn was left open to avoid preventing water circulation. Occasionally, however, the old bridge was brought put back into service during periods of repair on the other three links over the waterway.
Officials said the bridge has been taken to a shipyard for repair, but its future function is not yet clear.
The Galata Bridge, which was seriously damaged by a fire on May 16, 1992, was replaced with a modern one to link Istanbul’s Karaköy and Eminönü, while the original pieces were placed between Ayvansaray and Hasköy after repairs. The old bridge was reopened in 2002 as a solution to traffic congestion. However, since it prevented the passage of a passenger ferry to Eyüp and hindered water circulation, it was closed once again a decade later.
The former Cisr-i Cedit (New Bridge) Bridge was first built in 1845 as a wooden building. But in a short time the old-fashioned bridge was renovated in 1863. After serving for 37 years, a new bridge that floated on barges was built and opened to the public in 1912.
In 1914, an electric tram between Eminönü and Karaköy passed over the bridge.
Until the early 1980s it was the sole bridge connecting the two banks of the Golden Horn.
Karaköy was the main Istanbul port during the Ottoman era and the first decades of the modern republic, while Eminönü, now part of the municipality of Fatih, has always been an important center of commerce.