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The clock tower in Paris

The Paris Clock-Tower clock back to our eyes

"Machina quae bis sex tam juste dividit horas, justitiam servare monet legesque tueri". This Latin inscription stands below the Conciergerie Clock in Paris. For several months, it had been hidden to the public for restoration. This August it is again (2012) offered to the tourists admiration.

It's an example of pre-digital art. No electronic computer, of course, it was built in 1370. But digital by its use of numbers ant its autonomous movement as a clock. It's an important testimony of machine positively seen, in a period which is mainly considered today as obscurantist. The motto can be translated : "This machine, which so justly divides hours by double sixes, teaches us to serve justice and observe the law".

Some 50 years earlier, Dante had dedicated to clocks a warm praise in his Divine Comedy : "Then, as the call of a clock, when God's spouse awakes to arouse her husband, whereas a part pushes another one, ringing and chiming in so soft notes that the prepared mind inflates by love, so I saw the glorious wheel move and match its voices in a sweetness reserved to where joy plays forever" (The Paradise, canto X. Our translation).

Happy Parisian and Paris visitors, enjoy !