Historical documentation on Galata really starts with the fourteenth century. Following the Ottoman conquest, Galata preserved some of its autonomy for some time, and remained a center for western traders; yet it also acquired an increasingly Ottoman character through the rapid settlement of a large Muslim population. The district experienced a rapid boom in the nineteenth century, as it developed hand in hand with the residential suburb of Pera. The demise of the Empire and the transition to the Republic was certainly cause for decline, but Galata eventually made a strong comeback in the 1950s. However, the rapid growth of Istanbul in the 1980s led to a relative marginalization of the district, which lost much of its former centrality. Yet, from the 1990s on, Galata has attracted a growing interest for the rediscovery of its cultural and historical heritage, which makes it likely that the district will eventually regain its past luster as a cultural center of Istanbul.