Sunday, August 3, 2014

Oldest public clock in Paris!!! Still keeping time

Today I walked by the oldest public clock in Paris and it still works! the clock dates from 1535. It is mounted on the side of the Conciergerie, a former royal palace and prison in Paris, located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were executed on the guillotines at La Conciergerie. Original carvings by artist Germain Pilon still grace the dial, but the sculptured tapestry that surrounds the timepiece has been renovated over the centuries to include fleurs-de-lis, rams, angels and royal shields. Mercifully, the clock’s silver bell was silenced in 1789 and melted down a few years later during the Reign of Terror. Until the French Revolution, the bell had announced each royal birth and death by pealing continuously for 72 hours.

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