Clock Tower (Саат Кула) in Bitola
With imposing height of 32 meters, the Clock Tower is the most recognizable landmark of Bitola.
According to some historical records, a clock tower in Bitola is mentioned as early as 1664, but we can not reliably determine whether it is the same Clock Tower that exists today. According to some researchers, today’s Clock Tower was built at the same time as the nearby church of St. Demetrius, in 1830.
„There is a legend that the Turkish government collected 60,000 eggs from the local population, which were used in the mortar for the Clock Tower, as it would be stronger and more resilient.“
Until 1912 the Clock Tower in Bitola measured the time according to “alla turca” and afterwards the modern measurement of time “alla franga” was introduced.
Set on a square base with sides of 5.8 meters, the Clock Tower is entered through a door on the north side, and stone spiral staircase leads to the upper end of the tower, which houses the clock mechanism.
The first dial and clock mechanism was made by the German company “Konfage” and was placed on the Clock Tower in 1927. The belfries were replaced with “sajdzhii” responsible for the clock mechanism; the dials were white with black numbers and hands.
„Around the Clock Tower until 1947 the “Pekmez market” was located as one of many markets that were in Bitola during the Turkish rule. “Pekmez Pazar” was the place where many oriental desserts could be found (baclava, kadaif, pekmez, and many other Turkish delights) and here also were housed the most beautiful inns, tea and pastry shops in Bitola.“
In 1936. in gratitude for the construction of a German cemetery, as a gift from Germany, the clock mechanism was again replaced and also 15 bells, heavy 900 kg were placed. This mechanism was restored in 1962 and in 1970 a keyboard was set for performing the new compositions. Bitola Clock Tower is one of the 180 towers in the world which has such a mechanism.
With the beautifully arranged park in its environment, the Clock Tower is one of the most visited locations in Bitola for locals and also for the large number of tourists.