Pictures of The Clock Tower St Marks Venice | Photos of Torre dell'Orologio { 42 images } Created 30 Jan 2013

Pictures & photos of the Clock Tower, Venice or St Mark's Clocktower. The Astrological Clock Tower, or Torre dell'Orologio, is an early renaissance building on the north side of the Piazza San Marco at the entrance to the Merceria. On the top terrace of the Clock Tower are two great bronze figures holding hammers which rotate and strike a central bell on the hour. The figures are of an old and young man representing the passing of time. They known as either the “shepherds”, because they are wearing sheepskins, “the giants”, due to their size , or "the Moors" because of the dark patina acquired by the bronze as it has aged. Below this level is the winged lion of Saint Mark, the emblem of Venice, with an open book against a blue background with gold stars. Below this is a semi-circular gallery with statues of the Virgin Mary and Child seated with large blue panels showing the time on either side. The panel to the left shows the hour in Roman numerals and the panel on the right shows the minutes in 5 minute intervals in Arabic numerals. On Epiphany, 6 January, and on Ascension Day, the Thursday 40 days after Easter, the three Magi led by an angel with a trumpet emerge from one of the panels and pass in procession round the gallery, bowing to the Virgin and child, before disappearing through the other panel. Below this is the great clock face of the astrological clock in blue and gold inside a fixed circle of marble engraved with the 24 hours of the day in Roman numerals. A golden clock hand with an image of the sun moves round this circle and indicates the hour of the day on a marble circle within which are the original signs of the zodiac in gold dating from the 1490s), At the centre of the clock face is the earth and the moon, which revolves to show its phases, surrounded by stars which are fixed in position against a blue enamel background. The Venice Clock Tower was built between 1496 and 1497 and the inauguration of both tower and clock took place on 1 February 1499. Typical of the opulence of the Venetian Republic no expense was spared in the construction of the Clock Tower which was lavishly decorated with ultramarine and gold leaf, the 'Moors' were originally gilded. Today The Venice Clock Tower still draws admiring crowds of tourists who marvel at its ingenious design and wait in anticipation to see the great “Giants” strike the bell on the hour.

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