This extraordinarily elaborate timepiece is located in St. Mark’s Square of Venice, amidst the seats of both political and religious power, the commercial center and for centuries the place to meet in the city.
The clock fulfilled a resolutely practical role in what was a mighty maritime empire in centuries past. Seafarers setting out from the Grand Canal could rely on this faultless timepiece to decide the most favorable time for setting out to sea. So reliable is the clock, that in 1858 it was made the official timekeeper of Venice – to which every other clock should be set.
Commissioned by Doge Agostino Barbarigo in 1493, this magnificent Clock tower also known as the “Moor’s Clocktower”, facing into St. Mark’s Square, is a marvel of 15th century engineering. It was designed by Mauro Codussi, the clock displays the time, the phase of the moon, and the dominating signs of the zodiac. Venetian legend holds that, when the clock was revealed in 1499, it was so beautiful that the Doge had the clockmaker blinded so that he could not create another to rival it.