The Torre dell’Orologio (“Clock Tower”) in Padua is located in the Piazza dei Signori. It is flanked by the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi on the left and by the the Palazzo del Captanio on the right.
Torre dell’Orologio Padua
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Address: Piazza dei Signori – Padua. Telephone: +39 3924764353. Opening Hours: From 9:30 to 12:00 and from 15:30 to 18:00. Entrance fee: Free. Reservations are mandatory. (NB: Due to the Covid crisis, opening hours may differ from those indicated here).
History and description
The Torre dell’Orologio was built in the mid-14th century. The clock was designed and installed by Jacopo Dondi dell’Orologio. Its mechanism did not just indicate the hours, but also the months, the phases of the moon and the course of the sun.
In 1390 Padua was sacked and its tower, including the clock, demolished. Between 1426 and 1430 it was rebuilt on the ruins of the eastern gate of what used to be the Castello Carrarese. A new clock, after the design of the previous one, was built by Novello Dondi dell’Orologio, a descendant of Jacopo Dondi.
The work was completed in 1434, by Giovanni and Gian Pietro Dalle Caldiere. In 1436 the dial was decorated and gilded by Giorgio da Treviso.
In 1532 Giovanni Maria Falconetto gave the façade a Renaissance facelift.
In the 17th and 18th century a new pendulum and the current bronze bell were installed.
Later the dial was modernized, to have the XII hour marker at the top, but in the 19th century this was changed back to the old Italian style.
The Torre dell’Orologio is seen as one of the symbols of the city.
Jacopo Dondi (1293-1359) was a medic, astronomer and maker of clocks. He was born in Chioggia and died in Padua.