İzmir Clock Tower

Konak / İzmir

İzmir Clock Tower

You are in front of the Clock Tower, the symbol for Izmir, at the centre of Konak Ataturk Square. The Clock Tower was built in 1901, to commemorate 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdul Hamid II's ascent to the throne. It was built under the leadership of the Izmir Governor Mehmet Kamil Pasha under the auspices of a special commission, including the Mayor of Izmir Municipality Esref Pasha. The architect of the Clock Tower is Raymond Charles Pere, who is also the architect of Karsiyaka St. Helene Church. Hajji Ohannes Effendi, the architect assistant of the Municipality of Izmir, has also done ample contribution towards the construction of the tower. Clock Tower is one of the important examples of the Orientalist style architecture in Turkey. It is built in the height of 25 Turkish-yards to symbolize each year of Abdul Hamid II's sultanate. Twenty sour cherry and twenty green coloured marbles embedded on the tower were brought from Marseille. There are small windows with niches and arches at all sides of the main body. Above these, a small Ottoman coat-of-arms was placed on east and west sides, and Sultan Abdul Hamid II's signatures were embossed on north and south sides. In accordance with the law issued after the proclamation of the Republic, sultan signatures and coats-of-arms were removed and crescent & star relief designs are placed. Four fountains with baldachins covered with domes are placed around the clock tower. There is a rectangular pool with a fountain in the middle at the bottom of the baldachin.

When you raise your head, you can see four clocks rumoured to be gifted by German Emperor Wilhelm II. The clock consists of 22 pieces of gear; some parts of the watch have the date 1901 carved on them. The clock is powered by lifting two weights, more than five kilograms each and attached to steel ropes, to the top weekly. Access to the clock section is provided by stairs at the ground floor. Tower bell is located on the fourth floor and a metal dome with crescent banner covers it.

A model of the tower, made of solid silver and ninety centimetres high, was prepared and presented to the Sultan at Yildiz Palace before the real clock tower was built. This model is preserved in Topkapi Palace today.

Rumour has it that, in the days following the proclamation of the II. Constitutional Monarchy, the clock tower was intended to be demolished because it reminds the regime of despotism. Top floor bearing the dome of the tower has been destroyed in 1928 and 1970 earthquakes, but it was rebuilt.

The Clock Tower has witnessed many important events in the history of Izmir since the day it was built. It is probably the most popular landmark that comes to mind when referring to Izmir.


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