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Zitglogge Clock Tower in Bern photo

The Zitglogge Clock Tower is a symbol of Bern. It was built in 1218, two decades after the town was founded. Bern was built on a Peninsula in a deep bend of the river Aare. The town is surrounded on three sides by a bend in the river, and a fortress wall was built on one side. The Zitglogge tower was the mainstay of the first line of defense.

Only 50 years later, the small territory of Bern was not enough, and the fortified wall line was moved to 300 meters to the West. Therefore, the Zitglogge Tower lost its defensive significance and became a town prison.

In 1405, a "Great fire" occurred in Bern, which destroyed a large part of the Old Town. After the fire, the prison was placed in another tower, and an astronomical clock was installed on the Zitglogge Tower in 1530. The watch has five mechanism. One is responsible for the clock, two others are responsible for the clock striking, and two more are responsible for the puppet show. The watch has two dials. On the top one, you can see the time, and the clock is so accurate that all the inhabitants of Bern checked their watches by it.

On the lower dial, you can see the days of the week, months, zodiac signs, and moon phases. To the right of the lower dial is a hole with dolls that show a puppet show every hour. First the cock Crowes, then the jester rings the bells. The procession of bears begins and then the God Kronos turns over the hourglass. Old Town Hall in Prague also has an astronomical clock and a puppet show, but there is a procession of the 12 apostles.