|Clock Tower in Piazza San Marco on Epiphany|
|Clock Face - Photo: Musei Civici|
Beneath the Moors on the top of the Clock Tower is the winged Lion of San Marco, the symbol of Venice, holding an open book. Originally, there was a statue of Doge Agostino Barbarigo kneeling before the lion, but when Napoleon's soldiers invaded Venice in 1797, down it came.
|Photo: Heather McDougal - Cabinet of Wonders Blog|
|Photo: Venezia Unica|
Cinderella BellsOnly a handful of people usually show up for the tour of the inner workings of the newly restored St Mark's Clock, which was first inaugurated on February 1, 1499 by Doge Agostino Barbarigo. Five hundred years ago, Venetians built an astronomical clock that had five planets which moved around the earth (only the sun and the moon remain), two Moors that struck the time two minutes before and after the hour, and three Magi that circled the Madonna. For half a millennium, a watchman actually lived with his family in the Clock Tower; the last one left in 1998. After almost a decade of arguing about restoration procedures, the clock was finally up and running again in 2006. Aga is the name of one vivacious and informative guide who does English tours. A visit to the clock tower also offers one of the most spectacular views of Venice.
|Photo: Musei Civici|
I have long become accustomed to telling time by the bells of Venice. I don't wear a watch; the bells tell me when to wake up, when to go to sleep, when I am running late, or ahead of schedule.
Giant Wild Men clanging an enormous bell... The Lion of San Marco.... The Madonna and Child... the Angel Gabriel and Three Magi circling... An astronomical clock that moves through the signs of the Zodiac.... constructed during the Renaissance in Venice... Things to ponder during the Epiphany.
From the Cambridge Dictionary:
nounuk /ɪˈpɪf.ən.i/ us /ɪˈpɪf.ən.i/ literary
Of course, the Epiphany is also the day of the Befana, which I have written about many, many times before:
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog