Jaffa Clock Tower

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The Jaffa Clock Tower stands in the middle of Yefet Street in Jaffa. Furthermore, the tower, built of limestone, incorporates two clocks and a plaque commemorating the Israelis killed in the battle for the town in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In fact, it is one of seven clock towers built in Ottoman Palestine. The others are located in Safed, Acre, Nazareth, Haifa; Nablus. Jerusalem also had a clock tower built during the Ottoman period; but the British Field Marshal Sir Edmund Allenby demanded its destruction as he would not see such a clear Ottoman symbol resting on the city wall of Jerusalem, for which he had many emotions.



A Little Bit More About the Jaffa Clock Tower

The construction of the tower was initiated by Joseph Bey Moyal; a prominent Jewish businessman from Jaffa, who was also the mind behind the Jerusalem – Jaffa train line. In fact, the construction was made possible with contributions from all the communities of Jaffa, Arabs, Armenians; Maronites, and Jews. Interestingly, the watch mechanism itself was done by Moritz Schoenberg, a Jewish clock-maker from Rishon LeZion who also built a few stores in the adjacent Raziel St.

Old Jaffa Visitors Center

Ilana Goor Museum 
In This Photo: A Statue On Display at the Ilana Goor Museum in Old Town Jaffa



Now the official goal was to commemorate the silver jubilee of the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. However, the local community had a lot to gain, as Jaffa was going through a rapid process of modernization and urbanization. So the building of the Clock Tower helped develop the vibrant and well-functioning center of town alongside the market; the bank, and many new offices and shops. The construction was carried out by Baruch Papirmeister from Rishon LeZion; who studied architecture in Germany; hence the German style of the tower.

Finally, the cornerstone was laid in September 1900. Within a year two floors were built and the construction of a third floor had begun. So in 1903, the clock tower had been erected and Schoenberg designed and installed four clocks at its top. In fact, it is similar to the clock tower of Khan al-Umdan in Acre that is dedicated to the same purpose. In addition, more than a hundred similar clock towers were built throughout the Ottoman Empire due to this occasion.

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Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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