Tirana Clock Tower

Kulla e Sahatit, Tiranë

( Tirana Clock Tower )

The Clock Tower of Tirana (Albanian: Kulla e Sahatit të Tiranës), was built in 1822 in Tirana, Albania by Et'hem bey Mollaj, a Bejtexhinj poet who also finished the Et'hem Bey Mosque next to the clock tower. Watchmaster Ismail Tufina was the first to assemble the Tirana clock mechanism in 1822. It is a monument of culture of first category, approved on 24 May 1948.

The stairs have 90 steps that go in a spiral fashion. It is 35 metres (115 ft) tall and was the tallest building in the city at the time. Since the restoration of 2016, 9,833 visitors were counted, who have visited the tower. The installation of the clock was done by the renowned Tufina watchmakers. The Tufina's took care of the clock from 1822 until 1973 when forcefully removed by the communist regime.

The clock tower was built by the Ottoman Turks in an Islamic style and with simply a bell from Venice to be rung every hour. Ismail Tufina was the first watchmaker of the clock tower in 1822. In 1916 during World War I the clock was damaged. It took until 1928 to put a new mechanism. The new mechanism was purchased in Germany at the price of 13,300 golden francs, which was funded from the wealthiest families in the city and by the Tirana Municipality. Watchmaker Arif Tufina and his sons installed the new mechanism. Due to the mechanism being bigger than the actual tower they constructed an extra 5 meters on the tower and a new roof.[1]

In 1928, the Municipality of Tirana purchased an actual clock from Germany necessitating a rebuilding of the upper floors.[2] The clock was destroyed by bombardments during World War II and was replaced in 1946 with a Roman numeral clock from a church in Shkodër.[2] In 1970, the Roman numeral clock was replaced by a Chinese clock. The tower underwent renovation in 1981 and also in 1999. Access to the top of the tower has been available free of charge since 1996.[2] A new restoration is ongoing by The Municipality of Tirana in 2010 for tourists.[2]

^ "Kulla e Sahatit në dy shekujt e historisë qytetare të Tiranës". Gazeta Mapo. 2019-05-11. Retrieved 2020-09-11. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference Balkan Web was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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