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Embriaco's hydrochronometer in the Villa Borghese gardens.
A hydrochronometer at Palazzo Berardi, Rome.

A Hydrochronometer is a kind of a water clock. It has the shape of a wooden pinnacle made of cast iron fused as tree trunks, while its four dials are visible from every direction.

In 1867 Fr. Giovan Battista Embriaco, O.P., inventor and professor of the College of St. Thomas in Rome, created a hydrochronometer[1] and sent it to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1867, where it received many prizes.

A hydrochromometer was built on the Pincian Hill in Rome at the Palazzo Berardi. In 1873, the Water clock was in Rome and was placed in Villa Borghese gardens into a fountain realized by the architect Gioacchino Ersoch. It's still placed there and works 24/7.

In June 2007, after two years of restoration at ELIS School, it was restarted by the Town Major of Rome.


  1. ^ http://www.casanatense.it/index.php/it/gli-editoriali/72-stampe-e-disegni/153-orologi.html?showall=1 Accessed 20 March, 2013: "E' infatti del 1867 l'invenzione dell'idrocronometro, dovuta al padre domenicano Giovanni Battista Embriaco, che attese ai suoi studi di meccanica applicata all'orologeria nella solitudine del convento della Minerva."

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