Jaffa Clock Tower

Coordinates: 32°03′18″N 34°45′22″E / 32.05500°N 34.75611°E / 32.05500; 34.75611
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Jaffa Clock Tower
מגדל השעון יפו
Alternative names(برج الساعة (يافا
General information
TypeClock tower
Architectural styleOttoman, German influenced
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
AddressYefet Street
Construction started1900
Technical details
Floor count3

The Jaffa Clock Tower (Hebrew: מגדל השעון יפו, Migdal haShaon Yafo, Arabic: يافا برج الساعة, Turkish: Yafa Saat Kulesi) stands in the middle of the north end of Yefet Street in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. 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.[1]

It is one of seven clock towers built in Ottoman Palestine. The others are located in Safed, Acre, Nazareth (though that one is significantly smaller), 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 much emotions.


The construction of the tower was initiated by Joseph Bey Moyal,[failed verification][clarification needed] a prominent Jewish businessman from Jaffa, who was also the mind behind the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway.[citation needed] The construction was made possible with contributions from all the communities of Jaffa, Arabs, Armenians, Maronites and Jews. 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 Negib Bustros St. (now Raziel St.). 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 modernisation and urbanisation, and the building of the clock tower helped develop the vibrant and well-functioning centre of town alongside the market, the bank and many new offices and shops. The construction was carried out by Baruch Papirmeister[failed verification][clarification needed] from Rishon LeZion, who studied architecture in Germany, hence the German style of the tower.[2]

The cornerstone was laid in September 1900. Within a year two floors were built and the construction of a third floor had begun.[2] In 1903 the clock tower had been erected and Schoenberg designed and installed four clocks at its top.[2][failed verification] It is similar to the clock tower of Khan al-Umdan in Acre that is dedicated to the same purpose.[3] More than a hundred similar clock towers were built throughout the Ottoman Empire due to this occasion.[4]

In 1965[2] or 1966[3] the Jaffa Clock Tower was renovated, new clocks were installed and colorful stained glass windows describing the history of Jaffa and designed by Arie Koren were added.[2] During a second restoration in 2001, the original mechanism of the clock and the bell were found.[2] After the clock mechanism broke down in 2021, a highly skilled clockmaker identified the hidden problem and is in the process of fixing it.[5]

In 2004 the clock tower appeared on an Israeli stamp worth 1.3 shekels. It was together with the clock towers in Safed, Acre, Haifa and Jerusalem featured in a series of "Ottoman Clock Towers in Israel".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jaffa - Clock-Tower". planetware.com. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e f מגדל השעון [The Clock Tower] (in Hebrew). Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  3. ^ a b "Jaffa's Clock Tower". archnet.org. Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  4. ^ מגדל השעון ביפו. lib.cet.ac.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  5. ^ "The iconic Jaffa clock broke. An olah watchmaker is getting it fixed". Rossella Tercatin for The Jerusalem Post. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  6. ^ "The Jaffa Clock Tower, Clock Square". boeliem.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2011-09-06.


32°03′18″N 34°45′22″E / 32.05500°N 34.75611°E / 32.05500; 34.75611