The oldest watchmaking in Paris: its origins
Built on the orders of Charles V, the oldest (public) clock in Paris has been working as a timepiece since 1371!It was Henri de Vic, a Lorain watchmaker who was in charge of the making of this clock.
At that time the first clocks began to appear but they were not democratized as they are today. They were found at the entrance to the churches or indoors, but this was reserved only for a very well-to-do segment of the population. This allowed the Church to organize the lives of Christians.
This clock is therefore marked by a strong symbolism: it is the time given by the King and not the ecclesiastical hour. It shows the affirmation of the power of the monarchy in parallel with a distance from religious power. This clock then has a bell that informs the people of the key moments in the life of royalty such as births or deaths.
Since 1371, the oldest clock in Paris has been constantly modified and improved, the last one was in 2011-12. The movement of the clock (dating from 1852) was completely renovated.
The oldest watchmaking in Paris: its location
But where is this famous watchmaker from Paris? The oldest watchmaking in Paris is located on the island of the city, at the 1 quay of the clock, at the intersection between the clock quay and the Boulevard du Palais, hanging from the tower of the Palace of the city! A clock full of history, not to be missed!
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