Clock Tower in Bitola

Every building has its own story that is passed from one generation to the other. Its truthfulness is never checked because the stories are supposed to be narrated.

The only unsolved story about this Clock Tower is the story about the 60.000 eggs that the Turkish administration collected from the population, so they could be used for its building, so it could be firmer and stronger.
The sounds of the bells, the music, are spread through the air, through the small park filled with beauty. New loves, new sympathies are woven into its base, because it is the only one who knows how the secrets are supposed to be kept.
A wonderful but simple story isn’t it?

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According to the legends, even though the existence of the Clock Tower was mentioned before in the 17th century, present Clock Tower was built in the 1830’s, in the same period when nearby, the Orthodox Church of St. Demetrious was built.

It was built with massive stone blocks. The main, and in the same time the most decorative part of the Clock Tower, is the part where the clock itself is placed, one on each of the four sides.

The entrance into the Clock Tower is on the north side of the tower, and it is encircled by big marble blocks. Approximately a hundred stairs leads to the clock, to its peak about 32meters high. On each of the stairs new information, new transformation begins. Those stairs lead to the top from where in the past the big metal bells sounded, indicating the precise time. In 1927, a new numbers and the first clock mechanism made by the German Company “Konfage” were placed, and some additional changes were made. The individuals in charge to ring the bells were replaced with “sajzii” which were in charge to take care of the clock and the clock mechanism. The first clock face was white with black numbers and hands, and it was smaller than the present one. This clock mechanism was changed in 1936, when 15 new bells, about 900 heavy ones, were placed there. They were a sign of gratitude for the building of the Memorial Cemetery of the German soldiers who died during the First World War.  

In 1962, the mechanism was renewed, and in 1970 for the performance of new compositions, the piano was placed inside the tower. This Clock Tower is one of the 180 towers in the world which has built on this kind of mechanism. The music compositions make it even more unusual. Every six hours one of six compositions is played: “Bitola Babam Bitola”, “Biljana platno belese” etc.

This Clock Tower is not only a symbol of the time that passes by unstopping but it is a symbol of the magnificence of Bitola and her survival. The hands are moving as a sign of the past but the present time too.

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