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An interdisciplinary experiment for the urban morphology of Galata (Istanbul) and its surroundings during the Late Antiquity and Middle Ages [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2020; 17(3): 13-30 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2020.68916  

An interdisciplinary experiment for the urban morphology of Galata (Istanbul) and its surroundings during the Late Antiquity and Middle Ages

Hasan Sercan Sağlam
Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

During its Byzantine times, Galata was the 13th region of Constantinople, once the illustrious imperial capital now called Istanbul. This part of modern Beyoğlu especially came to the forefront with its prosperous Genoese period, which lasted between 1267-1453. Although Galata had a significant urban and architectural development during that period, there are solid evidence and recent discoveries regarding the phenomenon of spatial continuity. In this regard, it was seen that the Genoese did not found Galata as a colonial settlement from scratch but in fact possessed a well urbanized Byzantine district. In order to display the urban layout of its previous centuries, Galata was formerly subjected to some mapping attempts but few of them were able to accurately detect spatial continuities as well as discontinuities between different historical periods of this neighborhood. Hence, those efforts remained rather inconclusive from an urban point of view. Main reasons behind this failure can be given as the lack of an interdisciplinary approach and proper knowledge of urban morphology. Therefore, this article aims to improve the aforementioned research within the context of discovering the ancient road and water system; and to set a wider spatial connection between the late antiquity and medieval periods of Galata in comparison with modern times. For this reason, primary sources and archaeological evidence were considered for exclusive urban objectives. In the end, related findings displayed that the urban layout of modern Galata and its surroundings not only have strong traces remained from ancient times but also had significant transformations.

Keywords: Galata, Architectural history, Urban archaeology, Urban history, Urban morphology


Hasan Sercan Sağlam. An interdisciplinary experiment for the urban morphology of Galata (Istanbul) and its surroundings during the Late Antiquity and Middle Ages. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2020; 17(3): 13-30

Corresponding Author: Hasan Sercan Sağlam, Türkiye


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