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10 clock towers to spend some time with

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 27, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Rathaus Glockenspiel, clock tower

Photo: Boris15/Shutterstock

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Rathaus Glockenspiel, Munich

By far the world's most extravagant clock, this tower on Munich's Marienzplatz features a clock face, 43 bells and more than 30 full-sized mechanical figures. The figures act out scenes from German history and mythology, including a royal wedding, a jousting tournament and a German myth that explains how people danced in the streets to fend off the black plague. These scenes, acted out on several tiers below the clock face, make up a mechanical play that lasts for more than a quarter of an hour. Built in the early 20th century, the Rathaus Glockenspiel's main purpose has always been to amuse people rather than to tell time. The mechanical figures appear at 11 a.m. every day, with additional shows in the summertime at noon and 5 p.m.