Fishermen on the Galata Bridge. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.com
The Galata Bridge was a symbolic link between the traditional city of Istanbul proper, site of the imperial palace and principal religious and secular institutions of the empire, and the districts of Galata, Beyoğlu, Şişli and Harbiye where a large proportion of the inhabitants were non-Muslims and where foreign merchants and diplomats lived and worked. In this respect the bridge bonded these two distinctive cultures. As Peyami Safa wrote in his novel, Fatih-Harbiye, a person who went from Fatih to Harbiye via the bridge set foot in a different civilization and different culture. Apart from its place in fiction, the romantic appearance of the Galata Bridge made it the subject of many paintings and engravings.