Standing the test of the time, clock towers have seen the world around them change dramatically. Built in the ancient era for a variety of reasons right from telling the time, to serve as a high, safe place to observe the surrounding area – the clock towers today serve as a memory of yesteryear.
Compiled here is the list of famous clock towers around the world, one look at them and am sure you will immediately update your bucket-list!
1. Abraj Al Bait or the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Not only the tallest building in Mecca but also the tallest building of Saudi Arabia, and fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world, Abraj Al Bait or the Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel in the holy city of Mecca is an awe-inspiring structure. Spread in area of 1,500,000 m2 and standing at 1972 feet tall, the soaring tower is also the largest building by floor area on the planet. Famed as the tallest clock tower in the world, the four-sided clocks of this Tower can apparently tell you time even if you stand 17 kms away from it.
2. Sultan Abdul Samad Building Clock Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Just like one of the most famous clock towers in London- the Clock Tower, Malaysia has its own clock tower within the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Hands down, city’s most attractive Moorish styled architecture, with its graceful arches, an imposing porch, curved domes topped with shiny copper and 135 ft. high clock tower attracts people from all around the world. It is also often seen as a backdrop for the many important events held in Merdeka Square.
3. Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, United States
One of the iconic symbols of Philadelphia’s skyline is the illuminating clock tower of Philadelphia City Hall. Standing 548 feet tall, this clock tower once held the title of the tallest building in the world between 1901 and 1908. Check out its 250+ intricately designed marble statues that adorns the exterior of city hall. Do not forget to have a 360-degree view of the region from the observation deck just below the statues.
4. Izmir Clock Tower, Turkey
Although not the highest clock tower in the world, this iconic symbol of the city of Izmir, this Moorish styled Izmir Clock Tower, is considered to be the most beautiful tower of Turkey. The clock on the tower was gifted to the ‘Izmir Tower’ by German emperor Wilhem II as a gesture of alliance and good will. This 82 ft. high clock tower has an iron and lead skeleton, and its features four fountains which are positioned near the base in a circular pattern. The columns of these fountains are inspired by Moorish themes.
5. The Peace Tower, Ottawa, Canada
Also known as the ‘Tower of Victory and Peace’, The Peace Tower, is an impressive clock tower situated bang in the middle of Ottawa city. The Peace Tower was designed by architect John A. Pearson to stand as an architectural feature and landmark, as well as a cenotaph to Canadians who lost their lives during the Great War.
6. The Saviour Tower (Spasskaya Tower), Moscow, Russia
Standing tall since 1941, Spasskaya or the Saviour Tower is an iconic monument, built by the Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. The tower is about 230 feet high and is a popular landmark to see for tourists visiting Moscow. Considered as a symbol of pride by its native, the tower, was said to be possessed with astonishing powers. The people passing through the gates of Spasskaya would always observe the custom of crossing themselves and taking-off their hats to show their respect. According to an old fable, the mighty conqueror Napoleon himself could not prevent his horse from taking fright as he rode through the gates, having failed to show his respect.
7. Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai, India
Modelled on the Big Ben London, the Rajabai Clock Tower is 280 ft. tall, making it one of the tallest clock towers in India. The construction of this magnificent clock tower began in the year 1869, and was completed in the 1878. The construction cost (a whopping 2 lakh rupees in those times) was bore by a prosperous broker who laid one condition that the tower be named after his mother ‘Rajabai’. Built in a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles, the tower is said to have one of the best stained glass windows in the city. While the tower is now closed for public viewing one could definitely hear melodious tunes at fixed intervals.