Where in Europe?

Here’s a list of some of the 24 hour analog clocks you can find in Europe. (Yes, I know the UK is ‘in Europe’, but the page is long enough now…)

Italy – Czech – Switzerland – France – Netherlands – Denmark – Germany – Sweden


There are many interesting clocks in Italy, the spiritual home of the 24 hour analog dial. Thanks to Walt who found these. It’s worth visiting the web site at www.hora.it, which has many examples of 24 hour analog clocks.

This fascinating clock is to be seen in the Duomo in Florence. It was built by the famous painter Paolo Uccello. You might find some more information about the building and the clock at The Secrets of Florence: The Mystic Triangle.


In Venice:


Andy took this photo, and says:

…a clock just over the Rialto bridge. There is a flea market around you but if you turn and look up, there it is. Very strange as the hours don’t start/end where you would expect. I heard a strange story about this clock… I was told that the Venetians used to re-set the clock every day. When the sun rose, it was six o’clock. So at dawn, the clock was set to six. And that is where the clock sits now. It doesn’t run, or at least it wasn’t when I was there. Do you know if there is any truth to this?

Also in Venice, there’s the famous clock in St Mark’s:


The four windows used to have digital displays, so that the time could be seen at night. This clock (or rather a stunt double) starred in the James Bond film Moonraker – suave Roger Moore pushed one of Drax’s henchmen through the face into the cafe below. (Photograph by Tristan Forward – thanks!) Read more about the clock and the controversial restoration here.

Next is the clock at the Palazzo del Capitanato at Padua (Padova). Dating from 1434, based on an original built in 1344. Notice the unusual (to me) use of VIIII instead of IX for 9.


In Cremona, this astronomical clock with zodiac figures was originally painted by Paolo Scazzola in 1483 and was repainted many times by, among others, the painter G. Battista Natali in 1671, up to the present display dating back to 1974; the clock mechanism, however, is still the original, finished by Francesco Divizioli in 1583. More here.


In Mantua (Mantova), you’ll see this wonderful clock. Dating from 1473, perhaps. More (in Italian) here.


Here’s the clock at Clusone:


Here’s the clock at Brescia:


Thanks Tommy! See more at http://www.ens-lyon.fr/RELIE/Cadrans/

Czech Republic

One of the most famous clocks in Europe is the Astronomical Clock in Prague. There are many web sites that describe it: start with orloj.com.


This clock can be found in the town of Tabor, in Southern Bohemia. (Thanks Tomáš!)


There’s a modern 24 hour clock in Klatovy. See Klatovy clock.


You would expect to find many clocks and watches in Switzerland. You’ll probably be able to find a few 24 hour analog clocks there too. For example, in Bern, you’ll find the famous Clock tower with its astronomical clock dating from about 1530.

Here’s the clock at Sion (not a very good picture):


This clock is in the Musée Lindengut de Winterthur:


See more at http://www.ens-lyon.fr/RELIE/Cadrans/


This spectacular astronomical clock in Beauvais cathedral was photographed by wikipedian Tango7174:

Beauvais Cathedral

astronomical clock at Beauvais Cathedral

There may also be one in Chartres.

At Rouen, like so many others, the 24 hour dial was converted to 12 hour operation many centuries ago.

Investigate Strasbourg Cathedral and Museum. Also, St Etienne? I need some help from a French enthusiast!


In Friesland:



Ante Perkovic took this picture of the clock in Pjaca Square, in Split.



Visit Copenhagen in Denmark to see this famous clock designed by Jens Olsen, AstroMechanic.


During the Second World War, Olsen raised the money to build the clock through a series of newspaper appeals to the people of Denmark. His clock became a symbol of the nation’s unity under Nazi occupation. Aged 70, he started work, but died before seeing the clock completed. There are some great pictures (and Danish commentary) here.

Also in Denmark, there’s a 24 hour clock in Roskilde Domkirke, which might date from the late 15th century. The clock has mechanical figures: to the left is the knight Saint George.


The clock has recently been restored. (Thanks Christian!)


This is the wonderful clock at Stendal:


See more at http://www.ens-lyon.fr/RELIE/Cadrans/

In the technology center of the Festo Company in Esslingen, you can see the amazing FESTO Harmonices Mundi. I don’t know whether it’s open to the public.




In Sweden, look for Lund Cathedral.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s