(EURI 2024) Journey to promote Records in Europe - P11 - Tower of Winds (Greek): The oldest clock tower in Europe


(WorldKings.org) Located in Athens, Tower of the Winds is Europe's first clock tower.

The Tower of the Winds, also recognized as the Clock of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, stands as a timekeeping structure situated on the eastern side of the Roman Agora in Athens. Constructed in the 2nd century BC by the Greek astronomer Andronicus, this octagonal tower, fashioned from Pentelic marble and measuring 13.5 meters in height on a three-tiered base, features two entrances with small porches—one facing northeast and the other northwest.

A cylindrical annex adorns the southern facet of the edifice, crowned by a conical marble roof that originally housed a bronze wind vane for indicating wind direction, as highlighted by historian R. Hannah in noting the roof's distinctive shape.
Initially conceived as a sundial to gauge time based on the sun's position, the tower boasted multifunctionality in antiquity. It served not only for timekeeping but also for weather observation and prediction. Within its confines, a water clock utilized water from the Acropolis's descent. Each of the eight sides of the tower corresponds to a cardinal point and is adorned with bas-reliefs depicting the winds emanating from that direction. On the sides exposed to sunlight, sundial lines are inscribed.

Transitioning through epochs, the Tower of the Winds underwent diverse roles, functioning as a church bell tower in the early Christian period and later as a tekke—a retreat and character formation space—during the Ottoman occupation.
The architectural ingenuity of the Tower of Winds has left an enduring impact, inspiring structures worldwide. Notable examples include the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford, UK (18th century), Torre del Marzocco in Livorno, Italy (15th century), the Temple of the Winds in Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland, and a comparable tower in Sevastopol, Ukraine, erected in 1849.

According to the Internet


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