The Clock Tower is a Renaissance building located on the north side of San Marco square above the vaulted passage leading to the Mercerie, a tangle of narrow and noisy alleys, full of small shops and boutiques.
The Clock Tower
It is one of the most characteristic and curious buildings of the San Marco district, built between 1496 and 1499 by the architect Mauro Codussi.
At the top of the tower, the bronze statues of the two Moors strike the bell every hour while below, the clock face in blue enamel and gold foil shows the hours, the day, the moon phases and the zodiac to the navigators of a time, today, the latter, is put into operation only in the week of Ascension and the day of the epiphany.
Often called by the Venetians the Moors of Venice for their dark color, they are two bronze statues of shepherds, positioned on an elegant terrace, and they ring the hours on the bell with a big bat.
The clock tower features a nice carillon mechanism, in which a carousel of wooden statues depicting characters from the Nativity and the Three Kings emerge every hour from the side panel of the hours.
The statues carried by the mechanism fall into the tower through the minutes panel, on the opposite side of the clock. According to a gloomy legend, once the construction of the tower and its complex mechanism was finished, the two inventors were poked out so that they could no longer build others.
VENETO REGION INFO
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