The iconic Jaffa clock tower that sits in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Jaffa area was finally repaired – on the last day of 2021 – after a malfunction left the clock non-operational over the course of several months.
Hundreds of residents gathered on Friday, December 31, at the Clock tower square in Jaffa for a New Year’s countdown. At midnight exactly, the bell rang 12 times, officially kicking off 2022. While this annual tradition is held every year, it almost did not take place this New Year’s eve, as repairs to the clock tower were more complex than initially anticipated.
The clock tower, built by the Ottoman Empire in the year 1900, was not operational for several months in 2021 due to a rare mechanical malfunction. In a complex effort, the Tel Aviv municipality was able to locate a clock expert and purchase the necessary clock parts – many from all corners of the globe, such as special water-resistant parts had to be ordered for the clock from Italy – all in the effort of reestablishing the iconic Jaffa monument to its former glory.
Danish Clock specialist Susanne Kaufmann was encharged with climbing the clock tower and handling the repairs, as she discussed with i24NEWS. “The three months were really interesting to me. I learned a lot about everything, the history of Tel Aviv, the clock. It was a really nice job, and the people I was working with, I want to say thank you,” Kaufmann said.
“It was really fantastic to see everybody working together. Everybody wanted the clock to work,” Kaufmann declared.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was among those excited about the clock tower repairs, saying “In recent years, we have invested hundreds of millions of shekels in the touristic sites of Jaffa, making it the number one tourist destination in the city. It was important for us to finish the repair of the historic clock in Jaffa, a famed tourist destination, for both the residents and visitors who came to celebrate the beginning of 2022 together for a joint countdown.”
“I wish us all a good and successful 2022 ahead,” Huldai said.