A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more (often four) clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. The mechanism inside the tower is known as a turret clock. It often marks the hour (and sometimes segments of an hour) by sounding large bells or chimes, sometimes playing simple musical phrases or tunes. Today, we present some of the tallest and best-known clock towers in the world.
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well. The clock tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. The tower is designed in Pugin’s celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 96.3 meters (316 ft) high (roughly 16 stories). However, the tower has no lift, so those escorted must climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top. The Clock Tower was once the largest four-faced clock in the world. The clock and dials were designed by Augustus Pugin. The clock dials are set in an iron frame 7 metres (23 ft) in diameter, supporting 312 pieces of opal glass, rather like a stained-glass window. Some of the glass pieces may be removed for inspection of the hands. The surround of the dials is gilded. At the base of each clock dial in gilt letters is the Latin inscription: DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM.
NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building
The NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building is a skyscraper located in the Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan. At 240 meters (790 ft) tall, it is the third tallest building in Tokyo. The NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building is owned by the NTT Docomo group. To commemorate NTT Docomo’s 10th anniversary, a 15-metre-diameter clock was put into operation in November 2002. The installation of this clock made the building the tallest clock tower in the world, surpassing the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, which had added a clock in 2000. The upper portion of the building also features colored lights that indicates if the weather forecast calls for rain on that day. The building does not have any restaurants or other tourist attractions, tourists are not allowed into the building.
Palace of Culture and Science
The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw is the tallest building in Poland, the eighth tallest building in the European Union. The building was originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science. Currently it is the 187th tallest building in the world. The building currently serves as an exhibition center and office complex. It is 231 meters (757 ft) tall which includes the height of the spire of 43 meters. There are 3288 rooms on 42 floors, with an overall area of 123,000 m², containing cinemas, theaters, museums, offices, bookshops, a large conference hall for 3000 people] and an accredited university, Collegium Civitas on the 11th and 12th floors of the building.
Abraj Al-Bait Towers
The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The complex holds several world records, such as the tallest hotel in the world, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world’s largest clock face, and the world’s largest building floor area. The complex’s hotel tower became the second tallest building in the world in 2011, surpassed only by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The building complex is meters away from the world’s largest mosque and Islam’s most sacred site, the Masjid al Haram. The developer and contractor of the complex is the Saudi Binladin Group, the Kingdom’s largest construction company. The highest residential floor stands at 450 metres (1,480 feet), just below the clocks. The clock faces are 43 × 43 m (141 × 141 ft), the largest in the world. The roof of the clocks is 530 metres (1,740 feet) above the ground, making them the world’s most elevated architectural clocks.
Rajabai Clock Tower
The Rajabai Clock Tower is a clock tower in South Mumbai, India. It is located in the confines of the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai. The tower stands at a height of 85 m (280 ft). The Rajabai tower was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The tower was built in a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles. It is built out of the locally available buff colored Kurla stone. The tower has one of the best stained glass windows in the city. The Tower, over the carriage porch, has a square form up to the gallery at the top of the first level which is at a height of 68 feet (20.7 m) from the ground. The form changes from a square to an octagon and the height from this gallery to the top of the tower is 118 feet (36 m) and the third stage to the top of the finial is 94 feet (28.7 m), thus making a total height of 280 feet (85 m). During its time, it was the tallest structure in the city of Mumbai.