The Clock Tower of Tirana was built in 1822 in Tirana, Albania by Etëhem Bey Mollah, a Bejtexhinj poet who also finished the Et'hem Bey Mosque next to the clock tower. It is a monument of culture of the first category, approved on 24 May 1948. Since the restoration of 2016, nearly 10 thousand visitors were counted, who have visited the tower.
Tirana's Historical Clock Tower
1. The History
The Clock Tower of Tirana, or Kulla e Sahatit in Albanian, was built in 1822 by Haxhi Et`hem Bey, who also oversaw the construction of the Et'hem Bey Mosque. The tower has a spiral staircase with 90 steps. The structure is 35 meters high, and until 1970 it was the tallest building in Tirana. The clock tower originally had a bell from Venice that marked the time every hour. In 1928 the Municipality of Tirana purchased a new German clock to replace the Venetian one. The clock was destroyed by bombs during World War II and was replaced in 1946 with a Roman numeral clock from a church in Shkoder, Albania. In 1970 the Roman numeral clock was replaced by a Chinese clock. The tower underwent renovation in 1981 and again in 1999. Access to the top of the tower has been available free of charge since 1996.
2. Climb Up And Enjoy The Views
Next thing to do at Clock Tower is to climb it and enjoy the views. The climb up the 90 steps to the top is worth it for the excellent views of the city center. Views from the wrought-iron balcony that rings the tower just below the clocks look down over the great equestrian statue of military hero Skanderbeg, the National Historical Museum, the center of the city and beyond to the Dajti mountain range. By night they are both beautifully illuminated, throwing flickering shadows across the square. The shadow of the tower strikes the Et’hem Bey Mosque next door at sunset, an event long used to mark closing time at the formerly adjacent marketplace in the area where the Palace of Culture now stands. The tower can be seen from the far end of Rr. Durrësit when entering the city from the airport.
3. The Architecture
Of course, the most popular thing to do at Clock Tower is to admire its architecture. The tower is almost Venetian in appearance, with a simple stone tower topped with clocks on all four sides and a pyramid-shaped cupola. Its base (ground floor) is squared and in the upper part of the premises are the mechanism and the bell of a clock. The clock tower has only a gate for entrance. The lower part was built with a thick stone wall bearing wooden stairs that lead to the upper part of the tower. Its lighting is realized by narrow windows as turrets. On the upper part of the floor is set the clock mechanism. Modification of the mechanism from the clock with sound in mechanized field clock has brought changes to the original appearance of this clock tower. This intervention was made in 1928, rebuilding the upper floors like we see today. It was last restored in 2016 by the Municipality. It is a must thing to do a Clock Tower tour when you are in Tirana.
How to Get Tickets?
Entrance to the top of the tower is free of charge and you can enjoy all the things to do at Clock Tower for free. You can just stroll around and enjoy the surrounding area and inside of the tower without a ticket.
How To Get Around?
Clock Tower tour is best done by walking. The location is perfect in the city center, from which you can visit the great equestrian statue of military hero Skanderbeg, the National Historical Museum, and the center of the city by just walking. A small museum adjacent to the tower holds exhibitions on Albanian life and culture can also be visited by walking.
What Should I Wear?
There is no fixed dress code to visit the tower. You can enjoy the things to do at Clock Tower without having to worry about what to wear. However, make sure you wear comfortable shoes if you plan to climb to the top.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to do the Clock Tower tour is during sunset. The sunset is beautiful in the tower's surroundings. After the sunset, you will be able to see the beautifully illuminated tower, throwing flickering shadows across the square
Will I Need a Guide?
There is no need to hire a guide, you can find all the informations needed online and enjoy the things to do at Clock Tower by yourself.
How To Get There?
From the city center, you can just walk to reach the tower. It is conveniently located in the city center and is easy to reach from any part of the city. Use Google Maps to lead you to the exact location when you are there.
The Clock Tower tour is open Monday 9 am till 1pm and Thursday 9 am till 1 pm and 4 till 6 pm.