The Most Noteworthy Clocks of Melbourne
Every country has its own heritage buildings, something that makes them unique and exclusive. Some are architectural landmarks like the Sydney harbour bridge or the Opera House; some are natural tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon or the Niagara Falls. But there is a thread of uniformity that runs through almost every city of the world and that is iconic clock towers or stand alone clocks that define the true spirit of a place. Such towers are mostly located in the heart of a city and most places have grown around them in concentric circles.
Melbourne is no exception to this phenomenon. There are clocks in this metropolis that typically denotes the cultural ethos of the city, ones that are instantly recognisable the world over as typically from Melbourne. The city’s clocks were installed in the late 1800’s when the majority of the population could not afford to have their personal timepieces. Even for those that did have them, it was a tedious process winding and resetting them daily. On the other hand, clocks put up at prominent places catered to entire population collectively.
Here are details of some of them that usually draw tourists and represent levels of design and beauty that defies description.
- The General Post Office Clock – This huge clock sits atop the Melbourne CBD and was installed in 1867. In 1887, when another storey was added to the building, the clock was relocated there and is its present position. It was designed and created by Thomas Gamut & Co and has a total of 12 bells that rings in series to sound like a “carillon”.
- Flinders Street Station – It is not one but 11 clocks that have been installed here. This is the oldest station in Australia and was built in 1910. Of the 11, there are 9 clocks that inform commuters of the arrival and departure of suburban trains and are operated through a computer. Expert electricians in Melbourne have helped to perfectly synchronise all of them. The other two are time clocks, one located at the top of the triangular facade inside and the other embedded in a tower that is visible from both Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street.
- The Flower Clock – It is not the typical clock that denotes an architectural marvel, it is one that portrays great natural beauty. It is located at St. Kilda Road in Queen Victoria Gardens and was gifted to the city by the Watchmakers of Switzerland in 1966. It is a patch of green with giant hands of the clock showing the time. The clock is surrounded by flowering plants and its face changes constantly with different coloured flowering plants blooming during different seasons of the year. A unique concept and a very pretty sight.
- The Royal Arcade – The Royal Arcade is the centre of a shopping complex, great boutiques and shops. The building is regal in design and has an old world charm about it. Built in 1869, it is known for its magnificent clock. The face of the clock is flanked by two statues representing mythical figures. For the last 150 years, these figures have struck the chime every hour without fail and the sound reverberates throughout the arcade. The clock can be seen every day between 9 am and 5.30pm.
This is just a sample of the famous clocks that can be seen in Melbourne.