Most Bulgarian towns with roots in the 19th century and earlier have them: tall, sometimes coarse but often exquisitely decorated towers, usually in city centres, that have still functioning timepieces, beating a bell on the hour – every hour for decades and centuries.
Most of Bulgaria's clock towers date back to the Ottoman period, and it is not difficult to see why: time is very important to Muslims who have to say their prayers at very precise times of the day.
Today the Bulgarian clocktowers are amongst the most memorable artefacts of the National Revival.
The clocktower pictured here is in a small town in northwestern Bulgaria. Its mechanism has run uninterruptedly since the time of its construction.
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