Galata Bridge is the heart of Istanbul, stretching the Golden Horn from Karaköy on the north to Sultanahmet on the south. Standing on this bridge, looking to the west, you see Europe, and looking to the east you can see Asia.
The first bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built in the 6th century during the reign of Justinian the Great. In 1453, during the Fall of Constantinople, the mobile bridge was built by Turks. They placed their ships side by side so their troops could cross Golden Horn.
It is considered that Byzantine Sultan Beyazid II commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to design a bridge over the Golden Horn in 1503, but the design was not approved by the Sultan. Also Michelangelo was solicited to design the bridge, but he rejected the proposal.
In 19th century sequentially 4 bridges were constructed. In 1836 Mahmud II (1808–1839) built a bridge between Azapkapı and Unkapanı. This bridge was known as the Hayratiye, that is translated in Englash as Benefaction.
In 1845 Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid (1839–1861), created Cisr-i Cedid or New Bridge, built of wood. The bridge served for 18 years.
Cisr-i Cedid was replaced by a second wooden bridge in 1863, ordered by f Sultan Abdülaziz (1861–1876). Next bridge was constructed in 1875 by British firm G. Wells. It was used until 1912.
In 1912 German company Hüttenwerk Oberhausen AG has nuilt a new bridge spanning the Golden Horn. It served until 1992, when it was severely damaged by fire.
After that, in December 1994 Turkish construction company STFA has completed the last bridge, just few meters away the previous one.