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The Pincio and its water clock
12 May 2015

The Pincio and its water clock

by Annalisa G+

The Pincio is an enchanted place where you can admire the most beautiful view of Rome, but also hides secrets unique: the water clock, a unique piece of architecture mechanical handed down to us since the Nineteenth century.

The author of this experiment is Giovanni Battista Embriaco a friar of the Dominican Order who presented at the Paris Exposition two prototype water clock which in 1873 became one of the most beautiful attractions of the Pincio in Rome.

The original idea on which this great work of mechanical engineering is to use the force of the water to move the pendulum and wind the clock, adding a ringtone that began playing with the alternate filling of two basins.

Gioacchino Ersoch took care to find the right place in this particular environment by inserting it in a clock tower in the middle of a pond, decorated with wooden details and place on a rock, Ersoch thought deliberately to this structure to give a sort of continuity at work and placing it in a continuum with the surrounding environment, a way to show how you can combine the best technology and nature.

The clock has four quadrants ideally recalling the trunk of a tree and allowing it to show the time in four different directions, to note his hands in the shape of tree branches to make this structure an architectural element almost natural in perfect harmony with Villa Borghese.

The water clock after many years stopped working and had to be a careful restoration to make it even able to mark the hours. In 2007, after the damage due to vandalism, it was put in his place of origin working perfectly.

The water clock needs constant care derived from the delicacy of its mechanisms that allow it to function after 142 years for this Municipality of Rome has entrusted this authentic work of art at a vocational school able to constantly monitor its operation.

Once in Rome, discover the Villa Borghese and do not forget to run Avenue to clock in the Pincian Hill to admire this real gem nineteenth century.


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