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!!