Many bridges have been built over the Golden Horn throughout history. The history of these bridges bringing the two sides of the Golden Horn together dates back to the 6th century. The first bridge built here was built by Justinian I. The exact location of this structure, known as the Aghios Khalinikos Bridge, is unknown, but it is estimated to be between Eyüp and Sutluce.
During the conquest of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet also built a bridge. This bridge was between Ayvansaray and Kasımpaşa. During 1502, plans were discussed to build the first permanent bridge. The first attempt was during the reign of Bayezid II, but it was not built.
In the 19th century, a bridge was built between Azapkapı and Unkapanı by Mahmut II. This bridge was demolished in 1912. The first modern Galata Bridge was known as Cisr-i Cedid. Built by Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan and used for 18 years, this bridge had tolls.
Later, different bridges were built by Sultan Abdülaziz, France and Germany. Today, the New Galata Bridge, completed in December 1994, is in use. This bridge, which connects Eminönü and Karaköy, is a 490-meter-long bascule bridge, 80 meters of which can be opened. It is connected with a tram. It is one of the rare bascule bridges in the world that can be crossed by a tram.
Today, Galata Bridge has become one of the traditional symbols of Istanbul and has been the subject of many writers, painters, directors and carvers due to its cultural value.