10 of the most fascinating clock towers in the world
Clocks and their mechanisms have intrigued people all over the world, from antique watches to spectacular clock towers. People will always take a break to relax and think about something other than work no matter how busy they are, and everyone needs a great clock to remind people that it’s time to relax , to travel and enjoy life. Clocks are no longer used to tell time; instead, they are used to commemorate events or to demonstrate the skills of watchmakers, thus attracting crowds. Here are the most spectacular clock towers in the world.
ten Big Ben, London, England
96 meters tall, Big Ben, part of Westminster Abbey, was completed in 1859. Big Ben was originally named after the tallest bell in the tower, which rang every hour. It cracked just two months after its first chime and remained silent for the next four years. The bell was turned so that a small hammer could strike an intact piece. Its four clock faces bear Latin inscriptions that read: “O Lord, save our Queen Victoria first”. UK residents and international tourists can arrange a special tour of the historic clock through their local representative or a member of the House of Lords.
9 Chiang Rai Clock Tower, Chiang Rai, Thailand
The Chiang Rai Clock Tower is located in the center of the city’s main roundabout. With its use of gold and golden patterns, this gilded masterpiece embodies the distinct style of Thai architecture. The clock tower was designed by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who also designed the White Temple in Chiang Rai. Every evening at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., it attracts crowds with a light show. The spectacular display of laser lights and associated sounds against the backdrop of whizzing motorcycles, speeding tuk-tuks and speeding cars is a must-see.
8 Sultan Abdul Samad Building Clock Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The clock tower of the Sultan Abdul Building, which is 40 meters high, was completed in 1897. Topped by a golden dome, this typical Mediterranean structure was brought to life by the vision of AC Norman. The clock tower was built as a symbol of the country’s independence, when the Malaysian flag was first raised at midnight on August 31, 1957. This clock tower looks a bit like Big Ben in Kuala Lampur, and the structure has a distinct Moorish architecture.
seven Munich Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany
The Munich Rathaus-Glockenspiel is a popular tourist attraction clock located at Marienplatz in central Munich, Germany. Georg Hauberrisser, the architect, completed the structure around 1900. From March to October, the clock strikes three times a day at 11 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m., with a 12-minute performance featuring 43 bells and 32 life-size figures . The show features the wedding of Duke William V and Renata of Lorraine, as well as the jousting competition and the traditional cooper’s dance.
6 Spasskaya Tower, Moscow, Russia
The 71-meter-high Spasskaya Tower is an important landmark of the Kremlin wall, which houses cathedrals, palaces and the presidential residence. Pietro Antonia Solari, an architect, designed the tower. The magnificent clock tower features various charming elements, including a short, soft chime that chimes every fifteen minutes and a star that protrudes from the top. Joseph Stalin installed the star on the roof as a symbol of Tsarist Russia.
5 Zytglogge Tower, Bern, Switzerland
The Zytglogge Tower Clock was created in 1405 and restored in 1527. The tower is around 16 meters high, but the meticulous workmanship, bright colors and lively figures give it an imposing presence in Bern. On the hour, a giant figure strikes the bell at the top of the tower, and the figures surrounding the clock spin. The clock has astronomical features such as a moon dial, 12 zodiac signs, calendar dial and star chart in addition to being a timekeeper. The clock tower has a colorful history, having served as the very first gateway to the western city during an expansion in 1220, as well as a prison before becoming a clock tower.
4 Old Port Clock Tower, Montreal, Canada
In Montreal, Canada, this beautiful white stone tower was built in 1922. It is approximately 45 meters high. The clock system was created in England by Gillett & Johnson, a London-based company, in 1921. The tower was supposed to be accompanied by a bell that was to ring every hour, but it was never erected. The tower was erected to commemorate the Royal Navy troops who died at sea during the First World War. Between May and September, visitors can visit the observation deck, which coincides with the inauguration of an urban beach right at the foot of the tower. A bar and a restaurant are also available at the urban beach.
3 Ferry Building Marketplace, San Francisco, USA
The Ferry Building clock tower is a magnificent building in San Francisco. This clock tower, located in the heart of the Ferry Building, stands out against the backdrop of the river and the bridge over the San Francisco Bridge just behind. It is undoubtedly a must-see for lovers of architecture and photography. Markets, restaurants and shops are still open in the building below. On Saturdays and Tuesdays, visitors to this remarkable structure can take part in free walking tours that straddle farmers’ markets. The structure withstood two major earthquakes that struck the city in 1906 and 1989.
2 The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic
This beautiful and magnificent clock, which is 59 meters high, was built in 1410. Mikulas of Kadane designed the clock. There is an observation deck at the top, above the clock, from where visitors can enjoy stunning views of Prague. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., watch the clock tick as the models of the Twelve Apostles move every hour. Each apostle is distinguished by a distinctive feature, such as Saint Peter’s grip on the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Grim Reaper and a man looking into a mirror, which depicts man’s vanity, are among the other characters in this clock’s “room”. Its primary function is to perform astrological functions, celestial bodies in motion. The clock doesn’t move all day on leap years.
1 Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, USA
The 167-meter tall Philadelphia City Hall Clock is a unique marvel with a powerful presence in Philadelphia. It was designed by John McArthur, the principal architect, and completed in 1901. The tower was supposed to be the tallest building in the world, but the Eiffel Tower beat it to the top; however, City Hall held the title of tallest building occupied until 1908. Riding the elevator to the viewing platform at the top of the tower, visitors can view the fascinating intricacies of the clock and tower. At the top of the clock tower are several bronze statues representing William Penn and the first inhabitants of Philadelphia, who were Native American and Swedish immigrants.