One of the most famous clocks is in the cathedral of Strasbourg; the clock was first placed in the cathedral in 1352, and in the 16th cent. it was reconstructed. In the 19th cent. a new astronomical clock (so called because it shows the current positions of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies in addition to the time of day) similar to the original clock was constructed; its elaborate mechanical devices include the Twelve Apostles, a crowing cock, a revolving celestial globe, and an automatic calendar dial. Among other well-known clocks of the world are the clock known as Big Ben in the tower next to Westminster Bridge in the British Houses of Parliament and the tower clock in the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building, New York City.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.