The Gros-Horloge (English: Great-Clock) is a 14th century astronomical clock in Rouen, Normandy.PutGros-Horloge into our Rouen travel itinerary planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
The clock is installed in a Renaissance arch crossing the Rue du Gros-Horloge. The mechanism is one of the oldest in France, the movement having been made in 1389. Construction of the clock was started by Jourdain del Leche who lacked the necessary expertise to finish the task, so the work was completed by Jean de Felain, who became the first to hold the position of governor of the clock.
The clock was originally constructed without a dial, with one revolution of the hour-hand representing twenty-four hours. The movement is cast in wrought iron, and at approximately twice the size of the Wells Cathedral clock, it is perhaps the largest such mechanism still extant. A facade was added in 1529 when the clock was moved to its current position. The mechanism was electrified in the 1920s and it was restored in 1997.
As of 9 July, 2022, the clock movement itself is NOT functional in any way. There is an electrical solenoid that rings one of the two bells in the tower on the 1/4 hr.
The Renaissance facade represents a golden sun with 24 rays on a starry blue background. The dial measures 2.5 metres (25 dm; 250 cm) in diameter. The phases of the moon are shown in the oculus of the upper part of the dial. It completes a full rotation in 29 days. The week days are shown in an opening at the base of the dial with allegorical subjects for each day of the week.
The Gros Horloge has featured in paintings by J. M. W. Turner and the French impressionist Léon-Jules Lemaître.
This is a lovely part of the city. Didn’t actually take the visit inside but it is possible. The surroundings have great and full of character.
This is a lovely part of the city. Didn’t actually take the visit inside but it is possible. The surroundings have great and full of character. more »
This historic clock is beautiful and is a great way to orient yourself in the city. It is surrounded by shops and cafes.
This historic clock is beautiful and is a great way to orient yourself in the city. It is surrounded by shops and cafes. more »
What a beautiful city Rouen. So charming and easy to wander around. Wonderful buildings, churches. Delightful bars and bistros and shopping.. wow! I just love French fashion.
The clock is situated in the very center of Rouen in the same name street leading to the imposing Cathedral. It's undoubtedly a nice piece of art, but it's rather a pass by - one photo stop attraction. Don't expect something like Prague astronomic clock or the Munich City hall one
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