The clock tower in St Mark's Square in Venice on the EpiphanyLocal Traditions
The clock tower in St Mark's Square in Venice on the Epiphany
If on the day of the Epiphany you are in Venice, do not miss having lunch in St Mark's Square and looking at the clock tower when it strikes.
In fact, January 6, is the only day of the year when there is the procession of the Wise Men before the statue of the Virgin. The wooden mechanical statues consist of an angel playing a trumpet and the three Wise Men which are driven by a mechanical device along the semi-circular platform above the display. They appear from the panel of the hours, pass in front of the Madonna and Child and then disappear into the Tower through the panel of minutes, located on the opposite side of the clock.
The statues are not the originals from 1499, but an exact copy built in the eighteenth century.
The clock tower was built between 1496 and 1499 by the architect Mauro Codussi, while the two side wings were added in the seventeenth century.
The complex system of the clock marks the time, day, moon phases and zodiac and was created by the watchmaker Emilia Giancarlo Ranieri starting in 1493. According to legend, when the watchmaker had finished his masterpiece, the State Inquisitors had him blinded, so that he could never build one like it.
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