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The Planetary Clock of Macerata’s City Tower

After more than 130 years, a new planetary clock will once again be placed on the façade of Macerata’s city tower. The astronomical and time machinery built by master clockmaker Alberto Gorla will begin telling the time starting on April 18th, 2015. The device is a replica of the clock created by the Ranieri Brothers in 1571, which was definitively removed in 1882 after many years of unlucky events. The carousel with the automatons of the Magi and the angel which bend down while passing in front of a statue of the Virgin and Child will make its first round at 12:00 o’clock. The long and difficult process of reconstruction, which was carried out under Museo Galileo’s scientific direction, took in careful consideration the information inferable from the remains of the ancient clockwork as well as from extant but lacunose archive records.

An enormously complex machinery controls the different clock operations, namely the carillon; the strokes beating the hours; the bird which pecks on the small bell making it ring; the carousel of the angel and the Magi; the movement of the dial hand; the movements of the rings of the celestial bodies and the Dragon.

The wonderful polychrome dial tells the time of day and shows the apparent motions of the celestial vault, the Sun and the Moon as well as the orbits of the five planets known at the time when the Ranieri Brothers concluded their daring venture. The last function makes this device a unique example among Renaissance tower clocks.