The Clock Tower of Rethymno

The Clock Tower of Rethymno

The Clock Tower

The famous Clock tower is one of the most well-known monuments of Rethymnon, even though it does not exist anymore! The only sign that bears witness to its former existence the remains of a doorway that can be seen built-in the outside wall of a shop, on Arkadiou str.

The Clock tower was constructed in the 16th century, over the ruins of a tower which was part of the Castel Vecchio (the first residential nucleus of the Venetian city, surrounded by a fortified wall). Along with the Loggia and the Rimondi fountain, it was considered as one of the most significant monuments that could be seen in the Venetian piazza.

Of course, the buildings that appear today north of Arkadiou str. did not exist back then, so the Clock had a view to the sea. The Clock tower used to be a tall, square-shaped building, one of the highest of the Venetian period (20 metres high). It had an ornate southern façade, with several coats-of-arms and the Lion of St. Mark carved into stone. A sundial could also be seen on the tower, also hewn, and decorated with the signs of the Zodiac circle.

Regardless of being a monument one of its kind in Crete, during the Turkish rule its role was downgraded, as was the role of the Venetian piazza, in general; houses and small shops began to appear, closing in, around it. Eventually, the Municipal Authority decided to demolish it, in 1945, in order to widen the road, so the famous Clock of Rethymnon became a memory of the past.