Top 10+ Most Impressive Clock Towers In The World
Time is a universal concept that has captivated humanity for generations, and clocks and timepieces of various shapes and sizes have been developed throughout history to track its passage. Clocks, from ancient sundials to modern computerized watches, have become an essential component of our lives, helping us keep track of the time and stay on schedule.
Some clocks, however, stand out more than others, becoming cultural icons and symbols of their cities and countries. These ultimate timepieces inspire humans to adapt, transform, and begin again.
This is our list of the top 12 most impressive clock towers in the world, as determined by design, architecture, and function. All are linked to the social and political history of their respective locations, or they commemorate a specific event in world history. Many are so well-known that just thinking about their hometown conjures up images of them. Each example has distinct design elements or an iconic appearance that defines the character of its surroundings. Although they are no longer the only reliable timepiece for local residents, their significance as landmarks remains unabated.
Year of construction: 31 May 1859
Total Height: 316 feet (96 m)
Location: Westminster, London, UK
Big Ben is unquestionably the most famous clock tower in the world, as well as one of London’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a world-famous clock tower located in the Palace of Westminster in London, England. The clock was named after Big Ben, the first commissioner of works, and its official name is Elizabeth Tower. The clock tower has 11 floors and is designed in the Gothic Revival style.
Since 1859, the clock has only been stopped a few times, most notably during World War II, when the clock faces were blacked out to avoid enemy bombing attacks. Big Ben has appeared in a number of films, television shows, and works of literature, cementing its status as a cultural icon and making it one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
READ MORE: Top 5 Best Tourist Destinations in London
2. Prague Astronomical Clock
Year of construction: 1410
Total Height: 228 feet (69.5 m)
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
The Astronomical Clock stands out in Old Town Square. It is located on the southern wall of Prague Town Hall and is such an enthralling sight that it may be the most photographed landmark by tourists visiting the Czech Republic’s beautiful capital city. In addition to the 24 hours of the day, the clock shows the position of the sun and moon in the sky, as well as other astronomical information.
However, it is more than just the dial that distinguishes this intricate, historic clock, which is over 600 years old. A sophisticated mechanism drives several animated figures that appear in the procession and propels the 12 apostles into motion when the clock strikes the hour.
Year of construction: 1898
Total Height: 548 feet (167 m)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
The Philadelphia City Hall clock is a one-of-a-kind marvel that towers over the city. The tower was intended to be the tallest structure in the world, but the Eiffel Tower, with a height of 301 meters, outstripped it. Nonetheless, until 1908, City Hall held the record for the tallest occupied building. You can see the amazing mechanisms at work in the clocks and towers as you ride the elevator to the observation deck at the top of the tower. Several bronze statues depict William Penn and the original inhabitants of Philadelphia, who were Swedish and Native Americans, at the top of the clock tower.
Year of construction: 1894-1897
Total Height: 135 feet (41 m)
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In Kuala Lumpur, the structure is a well-known landmark. A.C. Norman designed the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which is located in the heart of Jalan Raja. The structure is influenced by Moorish architecture as well as a blend of local culture and British styles. The architect added an Islamic touch to represent the Malaysian people’s identity before finally finishing the building in 1897.
Year of construction: 1 March 1869
Total Height: 280 feet (85 m)
Location: Mumbai, India
South Mumbai’s Rajabai Tower is a well-known clock tower. It is next to the High Court on the Mumbai University Fort Campus. The tower is without a doubt a work of exquisite beauty. It has become one of Mumbai’s most popular tourist attractions. After seeing the Big Ben clock tower in London, Sir Gilbert Scott designed the tower. The foundation stone for the tower was laid in March 1869. The magnificent tower is home to a large clock that can be seen from afar. The clock also plays melodic tunes at regular intervals. The tower is lavishly decorated with oriental figures and boasts a plethora of impressive features. If you are on a Mumbai tour, you should not miss a visit to this location. It is one of Mumbai’s most beautiful areas.
Year of construction: 1191 and rebuilt in the 15th century
Total Height: 179 feet ( 54.5 m)
Location: Bern, Switzerland
The Zytglogge Tower clock was installed in 1405, and it was restored in 1527. The tower is only about 16 meters tall, but its meticulous craftsmanship, vibrant colors, and lifelike figures give it a commanding presence in Bern. On the hour, a giant figure bangs the tower’s bell, and the figures that surround the clock spin. In addition to being a timekeeper, the clock has astronomical features such as a lunar dial, 12 zodiac signs, a calendar dial, and a star chart. Before becoming a clock tower, the clock tower served as the very first western city entrance gate during an expansion in 1220, as well as a prison.
Year of construction: 2004 to 2012
Total Height: 1972 feet (601 m)
Location: Makkah, Saudi Arabia
The Makkah Royal Clock Tower, also known as Abraj Al-Bait, is the world’s tallest clock tower and is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The famous tower has 120 levels, four of which are occupied by the clock. Because it has the world’s largest clock face, it has 2 million LED lights.The Saudi Binladin Group designed and built the entire Abraj Al-Bait complex, which includes a hotel and residential structure.
It is also one of the world’s tallest buildings, standing at 1,972 feet. The clock tower’s connection to Islam and the Haj pilgrimage, however, truly defines it.
Year of construction: 1927
Total Height: 322 feet (98 m)
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Peace Tower is the focal point of Ottawa’s Centre Block on Parliament Hill. The tower and its 53-bell carillon, designed by Jean Omer Marchand and John A. Pearson, were dedicated in 1927 in memory of Canadians who died in World War I. The original clock in the tower was a gift from the United Kingdom to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Because the master clock cannot be reset, a government employee must turn it off for an hour at the end of daylight saving time each year.
Location: Munich, Germany
Height: 260 foot
Year of construction: 1908
The Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany, is a popular tourist attraction clock located in Marienplatz, the city center. The architect, Georg Hauberrisser, finished the structure around 1900. From March to October, the clock strikes three times per day at 11 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m., with a 12-minute performance that includes 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The performance depicts Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine’s wedding, as well as a jousting contest and the traditional cooper’s dance.
Height: 2.7 metre
Year of construction: 1969
The Urania World Clock, located on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, was built on the site of a wrecked pre-war clock discovered in 1966. It was opened to the public in 1969 to commemorate the GDR’s twentieth anniversary. Its design, which stands over 10 meters tall, is the polar opposite of a traditional clock tower. A 2.7 metre column with four attached clock faces stands above a stone mosaic depicting a compass rose. This is topped by a 24-sided drum, with each face representing a different time zone around the world. 148 cities are listed by time zone, and a numbered cylinder rotates in the center.
Year of construction: 1491
The red brick Spasskaya Tower stands over the gates to Red Square and is the official entrance to the Kremlin. Since the 16th century it has housed several iterations of the Moscow Clock, including one bought by Peter The Great which took 30 wagons to transport. Nine bells, weighing between 705 lbs and 4,700 lbs ring the chimes, many of them decorated with religious icons and bas reliefs. These were supplemented in 1995 with three metal beats to allow the clock to play the Soviet national anthem. The current face is an exact copy of the original, restored in 1932 using 28 kg of gold to cover the numerals and hands. Each New Years Eve, millions of Russians watch the president give his Ney Year speech just before the clock rings in the new year for all of Russia.
Location: New York
Built in 1903–13
Grand Central Terminal, a familiar sight to millions of moviegoers and one of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions, houses two magnificent clocks. The Main Concourse information booth has 18 sides and is topped by a brass sphere with four 24 inch clock faces. These are made of opalescent glass and were rumored to be pure opal worth millions of pounds for many years. One is a 1990s replica that replaced the original face, which was damaged by a police bullet during a chase through the station in 1968. The clock is calibrated to the atomic clock of the United States Naval Observatory and is accurate to one billionth of a second. The building’s south façade, which faces the world-famous 42nd Street, features a 13-foot-wide clock face.
Clock towers are still some of the most recognizable structures in the world, and in some cases, such as the Elizabeth Tower (better known as Big Ben), they are city symbols. The functional designs provide information, beautify the skyline, and frequently feature a daily display of animated figures or bells.
The following is a list of famous clock towers from around the world that are notable for their design, structure, weight, and magnificence.
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