Gros Horloge

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Le Gros Horloge, Rouen, Normandy.jpg
The Great-Clock's dial
opposite Joan of Arc Street
Location Rouen, Rouen Metropolis, Normandy, France
Coordinates 49°26′30″N 01°05′28″E / 49.44167°N 1.09111°E / 49.44167; 1.09111Coordinates: 49°26′30″N 01°05′28″E / 49.44167°N 1.09111°E / 49.44167; 1.09111
Built Middle Ages
Architectural style(s) Gothic, Flamboyant and Classical architecture
Official name: Gros-Horloge et Fontaine (Great-Clock and Fountain)
Designated 1862 (Great-Clock), 1889 (Fountain)
Reference no. PA00100834[1]
Gros Horloge is located in France
Gros Horloge
Location of the Great-Clock in France

The Great-Clock (French: Gros-Horloge) is a fourteenth-century astronomical clock in Rouen, Normandy.

History and description[edit]

The clock is installed in a Renaissance arch crossing the Rue du Gros-Horloge, in Rouen. The mechanism is one of the oldest in France, the movement was made in 1389. Construction of the clock was started by Jourdain del Leche who lacked the necessary expertise to finish the task,[2] so the work was completed by Jean de Felain, who became the first to hold the position of governor of the clock.[3] The clock was originally constructed without a dial, with one revolution of the hour-hand representing twenty-four hours.[4] The movement is cast in wrought iron, and at approximately twice the size of the Wells Cathedral clock, it is perhaps the largest such mechanism still extant.[2] A facade was added in 1529 when the clock was moved to its current position.[4] The Renaissance facade represents a golden sun with 24 rays on a starry blue background. The dial measures 2.5 metres in diameter.

The phases of the moon are shown in the oculus of the upper part of the dial. It completes a full rotation in 29 days. The week days are shown in an opening at the base of the dial with allegorical subjects for each day of the week.

The mechanism was electrified in the 1920s and it was restored in 1997.

The Gros Horolge has featured in paintings by J. M. W. Turner and the French impressionist Léon-Jules Lemaître.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Historical monuments, Gros Horloge and fountain". 
  2. ^ a b c "Le Gros Horloge"
  3. ^ Tanguy, Jacques (2006). "Le Gros-Horloge"
  4. ^ a b Dragicevich, Peter (2010). Brittany and Normandy. Lonely Planet. p. 238. ISBN 9781741042382.