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St Marks Clock Tower Venice

by MashaP
Torre dell' Orologio, San Marco district

St Marks Clock Tower Venice 

(Torre dell’Orologio)

Many people have a kind of fascination with clocks. I can’t exactly explain why, but we see it a lot in stories or movies about fantasy and magic. Those big, towering clocks that glisten in the night, with the stars as a magical background. The bells chiming and filling the air with a mystical sound. It almost feels like you were transported right into a dream. But if you find yourself in Venice, this dream could become a reality.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. The Torre dell’Orologio, or St Marks Clock Tower Venice. It’s the mother of all clocks in Venice, and seeing it would definitely make a trip there more worthwhile. It’s hard to miss, it’s right there in St. Mark’s square, which is the bustling center of activity in this city. But even if you were far away—for example, at sea—you’d still be able to see it towering over the city! This isn’t just a happy coincidence, the Venetians really made sure that it was made this way. We all know how powerful a city Venice was during the old days, and the Venetians definitely did not want anyone to forget it. So they built this clock tower as majestically as it stands, for it to be a huge reminder of Venice’s advancement in both science, religion and beauty.

St Marks Clock Tower Venice lived up to its expectations. It has been around for 500 years, and still stands strong today. Of course, with repairs and changes done over the years. It was built in 1493, ordered by Doge Agostino Barbarigo. The tower was constructed by Maurizo Codussi, while the clock itself was made by a father and son—Giampaolo and Giancarlo Raineri. There’s a legend that claims the doge found the Torre dell’Orologio to be so beautiful that he ordered the clockmakers to be blinded, so that they would never be able to replicate what they did and the tower would be one of a kind. But thank goodness, this isn’t true. What happened was that the father and son team subsequently lived inside the tower along with their families. This sparked the tradition of keepers living with their family in the towers for the next five centuries.

What’s so beautiful about St. Mark’s Clocktower is that it has all the elements of a beautiful clock from a fantasy movie. Remember those intricate clocks with the different pieces moving along at certain hours? Or those clocks whose faces were decorated in such a mystical way? Well, the Torre dell’Orologio is all this, and more. On its face it has different circles that show the time, the phase of the moon, and even the dominant zodiac sign. On top, it has two statues called “the moors” that ring the bell each hour. And during special days, you’ll even see the 4 Magi bowing to the Virgin Mary, with an Angel blowing a trumpet announcing their presence.

If you want to catch it in the English language, visit from Monday to Wednesday at 10am to 11am, or Thursdays to Sundays from 2pm to 3pm!

Address: Piazza San Marco, 31024 Venice, Italy

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