• Boris Dov Dolin

The Kaiser Tower

In 1898 Wilhelm II, the Kaiser of Germany, came to Jerusalem. This royal visit was a major event for the city and for the Ottoman Empire - so important that the Turks dismantled a part of the city wall to allow Wilhelm's carriage in. And it went in, with thousands of people cheering and German flags hanging from every window.  

Wilhelm arrived to dedicate the Church of the Redeemer in the Christian Quarter, which he did with imperial splendor. While he was here, he purchased the grounds for a future church - the Dormition Abbey. And when he left and the building of the Dormition - one of the most beautiful churches in Jerusalem - began the by-walkers began to notice a strange similarity between the rising bell tower and the Kaiser of Germany. 

Apparently, Theodor Sandel, the German architect living in Jerusalem, was in a patriotic mood when he planned the tower. Being inspired by Wilhelm he decided to create a tribute to the monarch - including the Prussian helmet, the serious eyes (clocks) and even the iconic mustache.  And so, more then a century after his visit, Wilhelm II, Kaiser of the German Empire and King o Prussia is still here, in Jerusalem. And he always knows the time. 

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