We’ve covered clocks once before and of course lots and lots of booze (the mini bottle museum is my particular favourite), but unfortunately there isn’t a museum out there that has timepieces made of liquor or alcoholic glittery balls. Someone needs to make this happen. I guess we will just have to settle for another Clock Museum, because isn’t that what New Year’s is all about, a reminder that time keeps ticking away, whether we want it to or not. Actually it’s nothing worth celebrating if you believe time is only an illusion, the greatest invention of humans. But I don’t want to get all philosophical up in here. It’s not the time or place.
Founded in 1917, the Viennese Clock Museum (Uhrenmuseum), one of the most important of its kind in Europe, is housed in the Harfenhaus (Harpist’s House), one of the oldest homes in Vienna, which kind of goes well with the whole “time” theme, don’t ya think? During the Second World War, the “House of Ten Thousand Clocks”, as it was then known, was closed and attempts were made to disperse the valuable clocks for safety to various castles throughout Austria, with only partial success. After the war, work began on rebuilding the collection; thanks to funds from the City of Vienna. There are now about 3,000 clocks in the collection, including ornate pocket watches, a 15th-century tower clock, rare Japanese pillar clocks, Black Forest cuckoo clocks, a huge clock organ (unfortunately not working at the present “time”) and world-famous lantern (laterndl) clocks. A few highlights? The smallest clock is a “Zappler“, which fits under a thimble; while the heaviest is the turret clock of St Stephen’s Cathedral, made of solid cast iron. Also worth your time and attention, a 230-year-old astronomical clock, constructed in 1679 by an Augustinian friar, who probably had a lot time on his hands. Calibrated up to the year 9999, it has layers upon layers of golden gears, and over 30 readings and dials. Something tells me humans will not be around to see this engineering marvel strike its final minute. Well, whatever. Happy New Year!