1111San Geremia: XIV towerbell clock restoredOne of the world's oldest mechanisms, forgotten for about a century, is now working again. A work of art which, until the XIX century, used to beat the hours.
It goes back to the XIV century; after a century of oblivion, it is now working again thanks to an accurate and very delicate restoration work.
It is the ancient "clapper" clock belonging to the church of S. Geremia, in Cannaregio. At the time it was extraordinarily modern. Without clock face nor hands (they will be added 100 years later), we find traces of it in Medieval documents.
The precious towerbell clock of S. Geremia was brought back to life thanks to a collaboration beween the firm Comin-Campane and the expert work of Paolo Forlati who specialises in ancient clocks worldwide.
Now the clapper clock is visible at the entrance of the church, on the left hand side; and after more than a century, it has found "his bell" again, which was at one time removed because it was cracked. The bell is now located at the entrance of the same church on the right hand side once in. The inauguration ceremony saw the presence of the restorers, S. Geremia's priest, Don Renzo Scarpa, the sponsor Mr. Paolo Puntar and a delegation of the Italian Association of Referees, which contributed as a sponsor to the works.
The historian Francesco Zane, who has written a pamphlet about the clock says: "It is one of the most ancient mechanical clocks worldwide. One of its peculiarities is that some of the oldest parts, dating back to the XIV century, have remained intact."
Venetian clockmakers are famous for the long tradition of their craftsmanship. They were evidently very active in the past centuries, seeing the number of Venetian clocks, be them functioning towerbell or street clocks - around the city.
The clock had a central role in defining the beginning and the end of a series of daily activities; not only it directed religious functions (S. Geremia's parish being the biggest parish in Venice) but also civil activities: for example, the daily opening of the four wells in the "campo", the artisans's working schedule and the opening and closing of the Ghetto portal after 1516.
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