11 photos of world clocks that will leave you lost in time
These clocks are so old, some of them ignore minutes and hours and instead measure the movement of stars and planets.
Time ticks on. The past fades away, and the present melts into the future. Unless you're a fourth-dimensional being, in which case you've already read this article. But even so, you might want to take another look. The concept of time has inspired a whole lot of beautiful clocks around the world, and they're worth admiring more than once. (Beside, everyone knows that time travelers are into clock towers.)
There's a big clock tower in Paris, one that photographer Songquan Deng apparently climbed into to take this photo. Through the clock, you can see Sacre-Coeur, a famous and incredibly beautiful church. Architect Paul Abadie designed the Basilica with a Romano-Byzantine style in mind to contrast with the Gothic style favored during the Middle Ages.
This fairy tale-like Swiss town is so colorful, it's almost hard to see the bright orange clock. Only about 2,000 residents live in this town, which is actually split between Switzerland and Germany – apparently Napoleon cut it in half along the Rhine river in the early 19th century.
This lean clock tower's shape contrasts interestingly with the square buildings in the Israeli city of Jaffa, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea next to the much bigger city of Tel Aviv. Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the world; people have been inhabiting it for 10,000 years.
The United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both adopted in Philadelphia's Independence Hall which, in addition to being a historical center of democracy, has a pretty awesome clock tower.
A professor of mathematics and astronomy installed this astronomical clock (and the one in the first photo of this story) in Prague's Old Town Square in 1410. It's the oldest astronomical clock in the world that's still functioning today, which is good news since local legend says that something bad will befall the city if its residents don't take care of the clock.
A lot of people see this clock on Amsterdam's Central Railway Station. The station is a national heritage site, the most visited one in the country. Over 160,000 passengers use the station every day.
Moscow's Spasskaya Tower was built in 1491. It sits in the Red Square, the main square in the city, named for the red bricks in the buildings that surround the square. The square has been used as a center of trade, a place to hold festivals and even a medicinal plant garden.
This clock in Japan's Kema Sakuranomiya Park is, unsurprisingly, famous for its cherry blossoms. It's a park by the river that's home to almost 5,000 cherry trees, making it a popular tourist stop.
This medieval Swiss clock tower called the "Zyglogge" was the city's main clock for hundreds of years. The tower it sits in, which is even older, has been a center of urban life for 800 years, though it was originally only about 16 yards tall. Since then, the tower has burned down, been renovated and somehow stuck around all this time.
We couldn't possibly leave Big Ben out of this. This clock's fame has grown over the centuries to the point where it's become a cultural icon all on its own. In 1859, the clock's maker called it "the prince of timekeepers: the biggest, most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world." Nowadays, digital clocks are probably more accurate, but no great mouse detective would ever have an adventure in one of those.
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