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Gallery » Danzig Report 113 - October, November, December 2001 » The 1473 Astronomical Clock in the Marienkirche

 

History of the builders of the Marienkirche

The 1473 Astronomical Clock in the Marienkirche

A giant clock with superhuman powers? Htans Düringer was the designer and builder of this, the biggest of its time in the world. Legends have arisen that make the clock seem to be haunted; for instance, there’s a story that the jealous mayor and city council became so fearful that the artist would create a second masterpiece in sonic other place that they conspired to blind him to prevent such a happening. Later, the clock stopped, and the conspirators forced his daughter to lead Master Hans up the stairs. He found a certain drive shaft, struck it, and the entire mechanism began to race and to fly into numerous pieces. A heavy part flew down and killed the jealous mayor. Miraculously, the Master Hans was able to see again, aided by the prayers of his daughter, Gretchen. The work was able to run again after the old man made repairs.

In fact, the clock had functioned until 1553, and only after that was it neglected because of the expense of needed repairs. During World War II, it was completely disassembled and stored in farm buildings throughout the countryside. After restoration of the devastated church, about 70% of the clock’s case have been located and returned. By 1983, a group of enthusiasts founded what is now known as the Horologium Society, which took up the restoration of the clock. The preserved parts have been reconnected, the wooden framework reassembled, all five dials cleaned and replaced with restored coloring. Missing figures and mechanisms have been reconstucted and are newly functioning. Since the 27th Anril. 1990. the dock again counts the time, after an absence of 437 years of standing still.

 

Danzig Report  Nr. 113 - October - November - December - 2001, Page 9.


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