6.9.12

Looking like new...


I have already posted about the Palace of Justice and the Conciergerie in several posts (here and here) and its long history as Royal Palace, as prison especially linked to the Revolution… More recently (here) I posted about the then ongoing renovating of part of the exterior, now finished.


What I especially wish to show in this post is the famous clock on the “Clock Tower”. We can here see what the clock looked like a couple of months ago.

This famous clock (“horologe”) has its origins from around 1370 and was among the world’s first mechanical clocks and was the first “public” clock in Paris. It took eight years for the clockmaker (Henry de Wyck) to finish the work.

It had a bell, which later was transferred to the top of the tower (still the same bell?).


The clock was then repeatedly repaired, improved; the most significant technical remodeling took place during the latter part of the 16th century. Also the present decorative parts were then added, the responsible being the great artist Germain Pilon (on whom I have also posted - here).

Obviously, the decoration is much referring to Henri III, who for a short while reigned in Poland, before succeeding his brother Charles IX as French King. We can see the two heraldic signs of France and Poland and one of the texts you can read is “Qui dedit ante duas triplicem dabit ille coronam”, which could be translated to “He who has already given two crowns will give a triple crown”.  We can also read the year 1585, when this restoration phase we completed.

What was then new include the two burnt clay figures, one of which represents the “Force” (holding the tables of law on which you can read “Sacra dei clebrare pius regale time ius”, which would mean “ O pious observer of divine law, respect royal right”), the other one representing “Justice”, holding the balance … and a sword. Under the figures you can read: “Machina quae bis sex tam juste dividit horas justitiam servare monet leges que tueri”, which would mean “This mechanism which divides time in perfectly equal twelve hours invites you to the administration of justice and the respect of laws”.




Hundred years later, in 1685, during the reign of Louis XIV, the dial plate was altered - see "the sun".


To my knowledge, since then, at least the more visible part of the clock is still the same, only now of course looking so much fresher. … and the clock is working!!

24 comments:

Virginia said...

Something for me to add to the famous LIST! I would love to have a closer look and hear the bells! Perhaps this will keep me on time from now on.
V

ohma said...

For me all what you show or the information that you add is awesome!
Great photographer.
Besos.

Owen said...

As always Peter, you just bowl me over with your appreciation of the rich history of Paris, and splendid details like these...

French Girl in Seattle said...

Great story, Peter. I had never heard about the clock. So glad they finally cleaned la Conciergerie. For years, the building looked so sad, standing there, by the Seine river... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Swedes are attracted to the story of this clock. Very beautiful indeed.

lyliane said...

Je ne sais pourquoi, mais je te l'ai déjà surement dit,mon monument préféré de Paris est la conciergerie!peut être parce que j'aime la "vie de château"

claude said...

Que c'est intéressant tout cela et cette horloge est un vrai bijou.
Une découverte encore pour moi, Peter, merci !

Cezar and Léia said...

That "clock"is impressive!
Wonderful rich details!
Léia

SusuPetal said...

That clock tower looks almost unreal! So shiny.

arabesque said...

this is one of the places i need to re-explore when my feet would take me (encore) à Paris. ^0^
better details than before, i love the royal colors they've used.

Hélène Pyy-Letellier alias hpy said...

Huit ans pour fabriquer l'horloge; elle coûterait cher à la fabrication aujourd'hui, surtout en comptant avec les charges et les 35 heures ;-)(.

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, it is gorgeous, and what a fascinating history! Thank you. :)

Starman said...

I've probably sen this clock a million times, but I don't really remember it.

James said...

Just beautiful!

JPD said...

Tu es trop rapide !
Je suis allé faire les photos ce matin ! Nous aurions pu boire un café ;-)

Jeanie said...

I don't know how many times I passed this building and never noticed this building. I guess that means I have to return to Paris!

minette said...

This is one of my favorite places to visit in my many trips to Paris... yet I have never noticed the clock! What street is the clock on? thanks!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Fabulous clock! lovely to see it in detail too.

Synne said...

I remember seeing that on one of my trips! It is gorgeous. I love how Paris offers lots of pretty, unexpected details when you just walk around!

Catherine said...

what a lovely piece of renovation and that clock is indeed historic and beautiful - greetings from Nice...

Jean(ne) in MN said...

Beautiful pictures and info, thank you. I will definitely find the clock on my next visit.

Simony said...

Beautiful details, color and art!
Paris is like an outdoor museum!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I will be there in three weeks and how I love reading the history on this glorious horloge! I think that they have repaired the clock at St P St Louis in the Marais since I was there in April as well.

Bises,
Genie

Kees Smit said...

For a 16th century drawing of the clock by Arnoldus Buchelius, look at http://objects.library.uu.nl/reader/index.php?obj=1874-237677&lan=nl#page//70/92/41/70924181773178927292851696313941293039.jpg/mode/1up