Spring Forward With Our Top 10 Clocks That Rock
TORONTO -- (Marketwire) -- Clocks...they mark not only the passage of time but the changing of seasons. In this, the week we spring forward, resetting our timepieces, as well as our internal clocks, we all drag around a touch tired but also slightly elated by the extra daylight and promise of spring. To pay homage to the power of time, the beauty of timepieces and the annual march of the sun, the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have compiled a list of our Top 10 Clocks that Rock as an early welcome to spring.
From clock towers to city focal points, and from iconic time-keepers to lesser-known beauties, below are the first five tickers to make the list:
- The Grand Central Terminal Clock, New York, NY, U.S. - This timekeeper, which sits atop the information booth in Grand Central Station's main concourse, just rang in its 100th birthday (that's 73,000 rotations of those hands in case you're counting). Featured in plenty of postcards, Hollywood blockbusters and real-life marriage proposals, the timepiece is topped with a compass and was originally built by Connecticut-based Seth Thomas Clock Company. The clock's four faces are made of opal, surrounded by brass and illuminated by lights, making it somewhat of a beacon amid the crowd of hurried passengers darting toward train gates. "Meet me under the clock" -- a phrase uttered by countless movie stars and punctual train passengers -- is a household saying in this city, understood by residents and tourists alike.
- The Floral Clock, Niagara Parks, Queenston, Ontario, Canada - The Floral Clock does more than keep time -- it keeps changing. Inspired by a similar clock in the Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, the clock was built in 1950 by Ontario Hydro and is the subject of almost as many photos as its high-profile neighbour -- Niagara Falls. Its 12 metre face features 15,000 to 20,000 seasonal plants and flowers, arranged in an intricate design that changes twice a year. The Floral Clock sits on top of its mechanism, motor and power source, and is regularly inspected for accuracy. It's accompanied by chimes from the tower at the back of the display, which also houses photos of nearly every floral design that has adorned the clock's face. The timepiece features hands made of stainless steel tubing that weigh an impressive 567 kilograms, and a water garden at the base of the clock filled with coins from wish-makers.
- Prague Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic - This medieval astronomical clock was installed in 1410 and is situated on the southern wall of the Old Town City Hall in Prague's Old Town Square. Far from a traditional timepiece, the clock has an astronomical dial that shows the position of the sun and moon, and a calendar dial marking the date, which displays medallions of each zodiac sign representing the months of the year. Each hour, on the hour, wooden figures of the 12 apostles and other sculptures move through a window above the astronomical dial. The structure is thought to be the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating. The unique figurine show makes this a popular stop for visitors.
- The Samrat Yantra, Jaipur, India - Though not a traditional clock, the Samrat Yantra -- or supreme instrument -- is the largest sundial in the world, measuring more than 26 metres in height. Made of marble and local stone with a gnomon that stands at 27 metres, this time-keeping attraction can tell accurate time, with just a two-second margin of error, day or night. The sundial and the observatory where it's located were commissioned in 1728 by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The movement of a shadow cast on the sundial is highly visible, as it shifts at a rate of six centimetres per minute. Observers can climb a flight of stairs on the gnomon to check the time from above.
- The Shepherd Gate Clock at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Greenwich, London, England - This timepiece is the public face of Greenwich Mean Time and serves as a symbol of standardized time keeping. The clock is mounted on the wall outside the gate of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which is home to the Greenwich Meridian Line, marking the Prime Meridian of the World at 0 (zero) degrees longitude. All other locations on Earth are measured using this line as a reference point. Installed by Charles Shepherd in 1852, the clock features the 24-hour analogue dial and was an early example of an electric clock. Controlled by a master clock inside the building, it's part of a series of timepieces that first operated by sending electrical signals to a clock at London Bridge, which then transferred pulses to other clocks throughout England.
Rounding out the list of clocks that rock our world are: Cosmo Clock 21, Yokohama, Japan; Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Center Clock, Istanbul, Turkey; Big Ben's Great Clock, London, England and Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany. To read the minute by minute details on these and Cheapflights.ca's complete list of Top 10 Clocks that Rock, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel/top-10-clocks-that-rock.
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