Technology of the Torre delle Ore clock tower in Lucca and how the bells ring…
The Torre delle Ore is a clock tower in Lucca. It is also the tallest tower in Lucca. There are 207 stairs to the top. The tower was built in the middle ages. Labruccio di Gilio Cerlotti, a local craftsman, installed the original clock in 1392. In 1745, the Genevan clockmaker Louis Simon installed a more modern mechanism and three bells were added. The hand-wound Swiss clock rings 4 times an hour and has since 1745. I must say though that when I was in Lucca this past summer, the time was always off when the bells rang. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my watch when I heard the bells ring until another person mentioned how the bells always rang at strange times.
Those of you who know me, know that I love to climb towers. I even climbed this tower with an injured foot. The Torre delle Ore was not one of my favorite climbs. The steps were old and a few freaked me out a little as they creaked and looked like they could snap. I was glad some little kid was not up there jumping on all of the steps while I was there. At one point during the climb up, pigeons flew out of little crevices and I screamed (imagine a mellow version of The Birds). There were also lots of pigeon droppings and feathers everywhere. The views at the top however were spectacular!
If you would like to see more photos of this climb, here’s a link. My tower climb is about half way down in the post.
Just as I was about to take a photo of the view, the bells started ringing. I jumped and then set my camera to video to record the bells ringing. Because the bells did not ring right at each quarter hour, I was not prepared to capture the entire bell ringing procedure but did manage to get most of it on video.
The Torre delle Ore clock tower: