A clock tower with a turret clock on one or more of its faces, is a common sight in almost all parts of the world. They used to be built in the centres of towns and cities to help people know the time, as early as in the 18th century, because at that time, owning personal clocks or watches was not a common practice. Today, the magnificent clock towers around the world serve as iconic landmarks. The earliest of clock towers had sundials. Gradually came the astronomical clock towers and then the turret clock towers. Let us take a look at 10 magnificent clock towers around the world.
1. Tower of the Winds
In Athens’ Roman Agora is where you’ll find the Tower of the Winds. The Pentelic marble clock tower has an octagonal shape. In actuality, it is the oldest clock tower, said to have been erected in the second century BC by Andronicus of Cyrrhus somewhere about 50 BC. The inside of the 12-meter tower contains a water clock and eight sundials. A wind vane is also attached.
In Munich’s Marienplatz, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel is a popular tourist destination. It was added to the New Town Hall in 1908 during the second phase of construction. It includes 32 life-size characters that reenact two stories from the 16th century every day at 11 am, and at 12 pm and 5 pm during the summer. Following this, a little rooster crows three times, much like a coo clock.
3. Prague Astronomical Clock Tower
The southern wall of the Old Town City Hall in Prague, Czech Republic, is home to the Prague astronomical clock, often known as the Prague Orloj. It was mounted in 1410 and is the third-oldest astronomical clock in existence. It features a calendar dial, an hourly display of Apostle figures, and a dial showing the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies.
4. Minneapolis City Hall
Minnesota’s Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse serves as the primary location for the city administration of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. With faces measuring 7.5 metres in length, it claims to boast the largest four-faced chiming clock. Regularly, a 15-bell chime is sounded. The clock tower, which stands 105 metres tall, used to be the city’s highest building until 1920.
5. NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building
Shibuya is where the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building is situated in Tokyo, Japan. It is a prime example of a contemporary clock tower and has a clock with a 15-meter diameter fitted to the structure. It is one of the highest clock towers in the world at 240 metres. Weather predictions are shown by lights in the top portion of the tower, as well as in the clock hands and the numerals on the dial.
In addition to serving as a clock tower, the Zytglogge tower in Bern, Switzerland, was constructed in the 13th century as a jail, guard tower, civic monument, and centre of urban life. Despite several redecorations, it nevertheless serves as a recognised historical marker for Bern because of its astronomical clock. It is a UNECO World Cultural Heritage site, after all.
7. Allen-Bradley Clock Tower
The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is in the Allen-Bradley Company’s research and office wing of the Rockwell Automation headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to being the highest non-chiming clock tower with four faces, the Guinness Book of World Records identifies it as the biggest four-faced clock since it is 86.26 metres above the streets of Milwaukee.
8. Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower
At the University of Birmingham in the neighbourhood of Edgbaston, the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower is situated in Chancellor’s court. Known as the “Old Joe,” this structure’s height is listed by the institution as varying between 110 and 99 metres, as well as 100 metres according to other sources. However, it is the tallest free-standing clock tower in the world, which distinguishes it from other spectacular clock towers.
9. Elizabeth Tower
In London, the Elizabeth Tower is situated near the Palace of Westminster’s northern end. Even though just the bell inside is called Big Ben, it is referred to as the Big Ben all around the world despite its actual name. It is a well-known icon of the UK and a common component of establishing scenes in movies. At 96 metres tall and housing the second-largest chiming clock, it is the highest chiming clock tower in the world.
10. Abraj Al-Bait Tower
The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, are situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, just a few metres from the Masjid al-Haram, the biggest mosque in the world. The government owns the megatall skyscraper complex. The King Abdulaziz Endowment Project includes them. It has the biggest clock face and the highest clock tower in the whole world at 601 metres.
Around the world, there are several additional wonderful clock towers. The Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia, which houses the tallest digital clock in the world, is another renowned clock tower in the development. These towers, along with several others, are well-known tourist attractions and recognised symbols of the locations where they stand.