Sunday, October 09, 2005

Zytglogge Tower Celebrates 600 years

If you have ever been to Bern, the astrological zytglogge tower clock, which dates back to 1405, is one of those must see Bernese landmarks and tourist attractions. Bunches of tourists line up on the east face of the tower anxiously a few minutes before every hour to see the 16th-century clock figures come to life.

We took this picture of the tower on our August visit to Bern.

Just below the larger clock, gaze at the astrological signs of the rooster, jester and dancing bears who ring in the hour just 4 minutes before the actual time.

What is so unique for attracting tourists is you are waiting expectantly for the oldest show in town to begin.

The history of the clock tower and the intricate old clock mechanism it houses provide much more food for thought than the turning figures and chimes outside. The 1.4-ton bell is engraved with the month and year it was cast of October 1405. The clock tower has tolled every hour for the past 600 years.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the multi-language tours which take place in October at 2.30pm daily and cost SFr9 ($7) for adults and SFr4.50 for children. Special group tours can also be arranged through Bern Tourism.

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