Perhaps, clock towers are among the most common attractions in the world that many people visit and enjoy. During the old times, clock towers are usually built in the heart of a town or city to help tell people the time. These days, they have become great landmarks which a lot of tourists want to visit to experience the sights themselves. So, if you are one of those who are interested and are planning to spend their holidays visiting clock towers around the world, here are 10 of the most amazing clock towers that you can include on your list:
10. Tower of the Winds – Athens, Greece
The Tower of the Winds was believed to be erected some time in 50 B.C. by Andronicus of Cyrrhus. As a matter of fact, this 12 meter tall, octagonal clock tower situated in Roman Agora of Athens, is the earliest of its kind. It is made of Pentelic marble and has eight sun dials, a water clock in the inside, and a wind vane.
9. Rathaus-Glockenspiel – Munich, Germany
One of the major tourist spot in Munich, this beautiful clock tower located in the area of Marienplatz, is adorned with 32 different life-sized figures. This figures come into life at 11 a.m., except during summers, where they come to life at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Rathaus-Glockenspiel is part of the popular New Town Hall and was constructed in the year 1908.
8. Minneapolis City Hall – Minnesota, USA
The clock tower forms part of the Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse. It claims to be the world’s largest chiming clock with four faces, having faces measuring 7.5 meters wide each and playing a 15-bell chime regularly. Its height of 105 meters make it the tallest structure in the city until the year 1920.
7. Prague Astronomical Clock Tower – Prague, Czech Republic
The tower, which was built in 1410, is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. The Prague Orloj is situated in the southern wall of Prague’s Old Town City Hall. It features a dial that can represent the position of the sun and the moon, a calendar dial, and an hourly show of the figures of the Apostles.
6. NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building – Tokyo, Japan
The clock inside the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, which embraces a diameter of 15 meters, is a perfect example of a modern clock tower. This amazingly built clock tower is popular in Shibuya has a height of 240 meters, making it as one of tallest in the world. What makes the tower even more amazing are the lights featured on its clock hands and on the numbers of the dials of the clock, and most especially in the upper part of the tower, which can tell forecasts of the weather.
5. Allen-Bradley Clock Tower – Wisconsin, USA
Standing 86.26 meters from the ground, the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is considered as the world’s tallest non-chiming, four-faced clock. The tower is a research and office addition on the Rockwell Automation Headquarters of the Allen-Bradley Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
4. Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower – Edgbaston, Great Britain
The JCM clock tower, commonly known as the Old Joe, stands 100 meters and is regarded as the tallest free-standing clock tower in the world. This magnificent clock tower is located in the Chancellor’s court at the University of Birmingham, in the suburbs of Edgbaston.
3. Zytglogge – Bern, Switzerland
The clock tower has already stood for over 800 years and through the years, it has served as guard tower, prison, and centre of urban life and civil memorials to the Swiss people. Zytglogge is a Medieval architecture, featuring very impressive details, an astronomical dial, a facade having Roman numerals, and a frieze with ancient Greek gods. Declared as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the tower is definitely an attraction that you surely don’t want to miss when you visit Switzerland.
2. Abraj Al-Bait Tower – Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The tower, which is also known as Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, stands 601 meters tall, making it the world’s tallest. Abraj Al-Bait Tower is actually owned by the government and is located right next to Masjid Al-Haram, the world’s largest mosque.
1. Big Ben – London, Great Britain
Actually, the Big Ben, as famously referred to by many, is officially known as Elizabeth Tower. The clock tower was built in 1858 and is standing until today in the northern part of the Westminster Palace. Moreover, Big Ben is considered the largest four-faced clock and third tallest clock tower in the world. It is among the prominent symbols of the country and has been a venue to many film and photo shoots.
Visiting these clock towers is surely a very wonderful experience. These structures are not just beautiful attractions that can be enjoyed by the eyes. They also have a culture and history to tell that needs to be heard and spread to the rest of the world.