Torre dell'Orologio, Padua
Historic Building in Padova
The Torre dell’Orologio, a clock tower situated in Piazza Dei Signori, stands between the Palazzo del Capitanio and the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi in Padua, Italy. It is also known as the astronomical clock of Padua. The tower’s construction commenced in 1426 and concluded around 1430. This commission came from Prince Ubertino de Carrara, a member of the Carraresi clan, who served as the Lord of Padua from 1338 to 1345. Later on, it was expanded to accommodate the newly crafted clock of 1427, which was fully completed in 1434. In 1436, ornamental details were incorporated into the clock’s dial, and a year later, the clock tower was inaugurated. The grand triumphal arch at the tower’s base, designed by Giovanni Maria Falconetto, was added in 1531.
The clock’s design and construction were overseen by Giovanni Dondi dell’Orologio, also known as Giovanni de’ Dondi, an Italian physician, astronomer, and mechanical engineer. Dondi received assistance from Gian Petro Dalle Caldiere. Throughout its design, the clock features references to the zodiac. However, it’s worth noting that the original clock did not include the Libra sign, as the pre-Roman system combined Scorpio and Libra into a single zodiac sign.
The clock’s dial portrays the Earth in the center, showcasing the phases of the Moon, days, months, and the signs of the zodiac. Presently, the clock is accessible to the public, with a group of volunteers known as Salvalarte ensuring that sites like this one remain open to the public. This group operates as a branch of a nationwide environmental association.
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