How it all began
A vertical bar marks the beginning of time. Or at least the beginning of measuring it. About 3,000 BC, the Ancient Egyptians were using shadow-casting sticks known as gnomons to tell the time, but without any great accuracy. It wasn’t until the 14th century that the gnomon was positioned parallel to the earth’s axis, allowing time to be measured precisely.
The Makkah Royal Clock
With a face measuring 43 metres in diameter, a minute hand 22 metres long and a facade decorated with 98 million glass mosaic tiles covered in gold leaf, the Makkah Royal Clock in Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest solar-powered tower clock. Even at night, you can still tell the time up to 10 kilometres away.
The Astronomical Clock
In 15th-century Prague, a clock was commissioned that didn’t even tell the time. Originally, the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall only showed the position of the sun, the phases of the moon and the current sign of the zodiac. A clock for telling the time of day and calendar came later.