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Gallery » Danzig Report 76 - July, August, September 1992 » Bringing the Great Clock Back to Life

Bringing the Great Clock Back to Life

Our new friend from Gdansk, Doc. dr Inz. ANDRZEJ JANUSZAJTIS, graciously showed us around the Marienkirche and explained the progress of restoration of the giant Astronomical Clock. The clock was originally erected in 1464—1470 by Hans Düringer and was then the largest in the world. It stood 14 meters tall! Beside the hours, it indicated also the days, months, years, calendar saints, terms of the new moon (with accuracy within minutes), phases of the moon, positions of the sun and of the moon in Zodiak—circle, and many others. At noon there appeared the scenes of the Annunciation and of the Three Magi. High up on both semi—circular galleries, Apostles and Evangelists processed with accompanying music, and Adam and Eve rang the hour—bells. The clock had functioned until 1553, after which it was neglected. It remained in such a state until WW II, during which it was dismantled and stored in the vicinity of Gdansk. In 1983 a group of enthusiasts formed an association, and reconstruction was undertaken by this group. About 70% of the housing and frame have been found, refinished and mounted in its original place. Now the original polychromy is being restored. The Saturday that we visited, art students were donating their time in this complicated project. New zodiak signs have been made, as well as the first of six mechanisms, which are now exhibited in St.George’s Chapel, which is directly opposite, along with the old dials. Reconstruction of the 22 missing figures is beginning (at the left in the photograph) and should be completed in 1993. It is estimated that the full cost of the restoration will reach about 400 million Zlotys (about $30,000). They have reported that visitors have generously contributed to the cause and that small contributions are appreciated and will be directly applied to the work.

 

Danzig Report  Nr. 76 - 3rd Quarter 1992, Page 3.


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