Bermudians have more than one reason to be proud of their island paradise: perfect weather, beaches, remarkable hospitality and cuisine. But Bermuda was also once a bastion of Royal Naval power in the Western Atlantic, and the grandeur of its architecture reminds us of its rich nautical history. One such highlight: the Clocktower, a centerpiece of the Royal Naval Dockyard in Sandys Parish. Once the administration building of the British naval base, this imposing structure with its 100-foot twin towers can be seen from miles away. As one of the major jewels in the global crown of the 18th-century British Admiralty, little expense was spared in the construction of the Clocktower, also known in the past as the Great Eastern Storehouse. The walls of this massive fortification are three feet thick, built from local, very hard limestone. Its North Tower clock shows the current time, and the South Tower shows the time of the high tide, once vital information for sailors based on its dockyard. In an effort to preserve the historical structure whilst putting it to modern use, in 1990 the Bermuda government transformed this iconic building into a visitor centre, with beautifully restored cobblestone floors and stunning wrought-iron pillars. Known as the Clocktower Mall, this structure is home to more than 24 stores, amongst them gift shops, jewellers and fashion boutiques that are open seven days a week. Its former shipyard was converted into a major pedestrian shopping area, which offers a watersports centre, restaurants, museums, art galleries and a craft market.
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