Jaffa Clock Tower
|Jaffa Clock Tower|
מגדל השעון יפו
The Jaffa Clock Tower (Hebrew: מגדל השעון יפו, Migdal haShaon Yafo, Arabic: يافا برج الساعة) stands in the middle of the north end of Yefet Street in Jaffa. 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.
The Jaffa Clock Tower is one of seven clock towers built in Palestine during the Ottoman period. The others are located in Safed, Acre, Nazareth, Haifa, Nablus. Jerusalem also had a clock tower built during the Ottoman period, but it has not survived to the present day.
The construction of the tower was initiated by Moritz Schoenberg, a Jewish businessman and clockmaker who also built the adjacent Bustrus St. (now Raziel St.) to commemorate the silver jubilee of the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The tower was built with contributions of the residents of the city, Arabs and Jews, headed by Joseph Bey Moyal.
The first stone of the tower was laid in September 1900. Within a year two floors were built and the construction of a third floor had begun. In 1903 the clock tower had been erected and Schoenberg designed and installed four clocks at its top. It is similar to the clock tower of Khan al-Umdan in Acre that is dedicated to the same purpose. More than a hundred similar clock towers were built throughout the Ottoman Empire due to this occasion.
In 1966 the Jaffa Clock Tower was renovated, new clocks were installed and colorful mosaic windows designed by Arie Koren to describe the history of Jaffa were added.
In 2004 the clock tower appeared on an Israeli stamp worth 1.3 sheqels. It was together with the clock towers in Safed, Acre, Haifa and Jerusalem featured in a series of Ottoman Clock Towers In Israel.
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