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The Clockmaker Tower, GiurgiuCod 1032

The Clockmaker Tower is a relic of the period when the Ottoman Empire had the control over the Danube port.

Bearer of a public clock, the tower was the highest construction in town at the time, arranged in the geometrical center of the territory, now considered to be a rarity.

The tower was under Turkish control for 30 years, but it was built after the European plans of the strategists of that time. It is not a Turkish architecture, but a design inspired by French style architecture. Built in 1771 in a form different from that of today, the tower was part of the fortification system of the city. It was the main point of surveillance above the advancing armies of the enemy because it was the tallest building in the area.

There have also been similar towers in other cities of the Ottoman Empire in countries such as Bulgaria, Albania or now Serbia for instance. Most of them were destroyed by demolition even by the inhabitants of the cities immediately after the wars of independence led by the states with the Ottoman Empire. For these reasons, it is a rarity in the south-eastern Europe.

Restored several times during modern wars to whom it survived, the tower has undergone some changes until the First World War. Then, much of the city was affected by a fire, and along with it, the top of the tower.

The surveillance tower was added a clock in XIXth century, once went out from the Turkish rule. The original clock was replaced along with the restorations in 2005, the original clock being in the custody of the county Museum of History  “Teohari Antonescu” from Giurgiu.

Construction of the tower has a specific hexagonal plan, a construction which surrounds the base where the Municipality, police or firefighters have also operated over time. The last use and the actual one was that of acquired by means of space concession of its base for pubs and cafes. Today something like that was temporarily rebuilt around the tower.

However it is crooked, a construction defect. It has an inclination of several degrees, although it not the Tower of Pisa.

The one who used the Clock Tower as a landmark for the modern urban systematization of Giurgiu, author of the City Plan, was an Austrian engineer Morris Van Ott.

The clock Tower came into reconsolidation at the end of 2005, and the works were completed in 2007. On this occasion, the clock was replaced with a new one, the original being preserved  by the Museum of History “Teoharie Antonescu” from the city of Giurgiu.

Nowadays, the Clock Tower is the symbol of the city of Giurgiu, this monument is represented on the county’s coat of arms.

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