Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Clock Tower Square

Jaffa, one of the oldest port cities in the world. . The tower clock square. I've been here many times, and yet it seems I never have enough of it. I'm attracted to this square by its location( near the Mediterranean sea, beach and promenade), its architecture (stone and arches: window arches, door arches, interior arches), a blend of the religious (mosque, church, synagogue) and the secular ( art galleries, eateries, shops) , and of course, the colorful Flea Market that occupies the narrow side streets that border the square (and which deserves a separate post). Despite the great number of local and foreign tourists visiting the place, an information center was opened only some six months ago?!

sea and promenade

Tourist Information Center

The turkish clock tower erected in 1906 and recently renovated, dominates the entire square. It has four clocks, one on each side; the openings and windows are covered with gratings. Across it, there' s the renovated Saraya (palace in turkish) building and its marble pillars. The Saraya used to be the residence of the turkish governor at the time of the otoman rule.

The turkish clock tower

clock tower and the Saraya with 4 marble pillars

The next point of attraction in the square, is the Abulafia Bakery , famous for its pretzels seasoned with zatar / sesame, and especially for its breads stuffed with mashed potatoes/mushrooms/cheese/boiled eggs/ onions/ olives.
The bakery stands on the same spot since 1879!!
The arab-israeli Abulafia family is also the owner of a reastaurant and a middle-eastern sweets patisserie shop - all on the same street.

The Abulafia Bakery

Pita Bread for sale

Margaret Tayar's fish -based restaurant with its attached terrace overlooking the sea, is a favorite place of gourmet people and celebrities, despite the simplicity of both the setting and the menu. Its specialty is stuffed sardines and north african salads. The food is cooked by the owner, herself.

Tayar's restaurant with its blue fish icon on top

And to conclude with some art, below's the painting of a naked woman.... at the very entrance of an art gallery . People stop in front of it to contemplate the nude, and then enter the gallery to look for more...

Art Gallery


  1. That place has some flavor--literally. Someday I'd like to go to that part of the world.

  2. Beautiful world! I would like to try the stuffed sardines and pretzels.

    Same with Jolynne will see your place in the near future.

    ♥ Regina

  3. can'twait to see the flea market!

  4. JoLynne Lyon,

    Right. It's not the usual urban place. The stone of the buildings, the adjacent sea, the people of various faith (christians, muslims, jews), the overall atmosphere - make it a specially flavored place.


    You've got good taste in food. I believe you'll like the stuffed sardines and the pretzels.


    Yes, the Flea Market is always the 'raisin on the cake', the real treat of any visit to the clock tower square.

  5. I can only imagine how good the food tastes. Now I'm hungry.

  6. I also would enjoy the flea market!

  7. Duta
    I know you get tired of me saying how much I enjoy and learn from each post. I can see how you could like this area so much. What were the flowers in front of the 4 marble pillars? I would have loved a close up of the stain glass windows above the bakery. Also, I lol at the nude painting put in front so it would draw people inside. Peace

  8. I would love to go there. I love the sea. Great history on the clock tower. I just did a post on clocks. What I liked best was the Arab- Israli Bakery. That is just wonderful. PEACE
    What the world needs now is peace.

  9. Nice quiet place, lovely architecture & lots of history. This place reminds me of Buraimi in Oman which has similar architecture.

  10. I like seeing Jaffa and the clock tower...nice to see these places

  11. I can truly see why you never tire or the place.

    It looks like the perfect spot to spend a day strollin', shoppin' and eatin'!

    God bless ya and have a fantastic week! :o)

  12. You have wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing them.
    Cheers from Cottage Country!

  13. Turkish, Arabian, Israili... the mixture of these architectural styles makes this place look so breathtaking.

    Also the filled bread... my mom does it, too, and it's so delicious. :)
    I hope you were already able to try a few different of those fillings.

    Ah, and about the nude Art in the entrance of the Gallery? -Sex sells, even there... ;)

  14. Looks like a place you could spend many happy hours wandering around and I can see why you enjoy the place, although I think that I would have probably wandered off to the flea market after having had a quick browse round the market place!

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  16. JoLynne Lyon,

    'Flavor' is the right word.The square is heavily 'flavored' with history, religion , influences of east and West.


    You can't go wrong with stuffed sardines and pretzels.

    One Fly,

    I can see you've got a rich imagination ,when it comes to food matters.


    I bet you would. Hope to write a post on this vivid market in the very near future.

    Lady Di Tn,

    No, I don't get tired. Please keep on writing the nice things.
    Next time I'll be at the square, I'll try to capture the flowers for you to identify and enjoy their sight.

  17. La Petite Gallery,

    I like clocks, except the..alarm clock (which is my fiercest enemy) LOL).
    The owner of the bakery is an israeli- born arab, but still the bakery is a kind of co-production.
    I certainly agree with you about the need for Peace.


    You've summed it up perfectly. Thank You.
    (Never heard of Buraimi, so I've looked it up on the web.)

    Kim and Stuff,

    I would even say that it's a great privilege to get to know these historical spots.


    Right you are! The place is perfect for a day trip: strolling. taking pictures, shopping , eating.

    Jen Jilks,

    You've made my day with your remark. I'm very glad you like my photos.

  18. Wonderful place and beautiful pictures!!!

  19. I would love visit this place, Duta. Your posts always make me wish I was there, too. The stuffed bread sounds interesting - and delicious. I always look forward to tagging along with you on your travels.

  20. Duta, Thanks for the comment.
    I doubt if I"ll get the tusks
    or Grandfather clock, at my age things get so expensive. I have to have more help now and the cost is sky high.

    Be well and safe.


  21. DUTA - As always a wonderfully interesting post! I love the photos of the clock tower. It's funny that we have one here in Bakersfield that is very similar, here's the link

    What is the significance of the four pillars? I find those very intriguing as they just stand there alone.

  22. Phivos Nicolaides,

    I'm glad you like both the place and my pictures. It makes me wish to engage in more visits and photography of this kind.


    I'm sure you would. The combination of history and culinary matters is always attractive.

    La Petite Gallery,

    You're welcome. Yes, nowadays prices are very high, and we all have to set our priorities.


    Thank you. What a nice coincidence-the similarity of the clock tower
    in Jaffa and the one in Bakersfield!

    The pillars are the remains of what was once the original turkish governor's palace.

  23. This looks like a wonderful place to visit. I need a vacation!


  24. This post, my dear friend Duta, is wonderful and so delicious!!!!
    I love the Bakery!!!and sardines!!!
    In Greece, the stuffed sardines,named "married sardines":)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  25. Joyce Lansky,

    Ha, ha. That's what happens when we read about new, interesting places. We suddenly feel we need a vacation, don't we.


    "married sardines" - cute name to a delicious dish. I'll remember that.


    And that's only the beginning of it; next, the adjacent flea market.

  26. I love traveling with you thru your posts! You are so good at describing everything and your pictures are great. That bakery sounds wonderful. I would love to try fresh pita bread sometimes. I buy it here at the store and love to eat chicken salad in it. But fresh, mmmmm I can almost taste it! Also just wanted to say thanks for always leaving such nice comments on my posts! I feel you are a friend from afar! lol. Ok got to go, gotta read about the flea market! lol
    until next time... nel

  27. Nel,

    Thank you for your very kind words. You've just made my day.

    As for my comments on your posts, well I like your writing, so it's a pleasure for me to leave comments on your posts.

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  29. Looks wonderful!!! Funny, I don`t think I have been there but there is something familiar about that picture with the clock and the palm trees!! Yes, I will certainly hope to visit there...and to try a zatar salted pretzel!!! Thank you!!!