Jens Olsen's World Clock

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The front of Jens Olsen's World Clock
The back of Jens Olsen's World Clock

Jens Olsen's World Clock or Verdensur is an advanced astronomical clock which is displayed in Copenhagen City Hall.[1][2]

The clock was designed and calculated by Jens Olsen who was a skilled locksmith, but later learned the trade of clockmaking. He also took part in the beginning of the clock's construction, but died in 1945, 10 years before the clock was completed.[3]

The clock consists of 12 movements which together have 15,448 parts.[4][5] The clock is mechanical and must be wound once a week.[6] Displays include lunar and solar eclipses, positions of the stellar bodies, and a perpetual calendar, in addition to the time.[1] The fastest gear completes a revolution every ten seconds and the slowest every 25,753 years.[1][5]

The calculations for the clock were made up until 1928, after which they were supervised by the astronomer Professor Elis Strömgren.[5] The drawings for the clock were made between 1934 and 1936,[7] and the actual production of the clock took place from 1943 until 1955.[8] The clock was started on 15 December 1955 by King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen's youngest grandchild Birgit.[1][7]

Recent observers may have noticed the clock is not running. The calendar is fixed at 16 December 2017 (as of 16 June 2018), and no parts are in motion.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Otto Mortensen Jens Olsen's Clock: A Technical Description Technological Institute, Copenhagen, 1957.


  1. ^ a b c d Welin, Charlotte (15 December 2005). "Det kan gå i 520.000 år endnu". Berlingske (in Danish). Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Jens Olsen's World Clock". Museum of Copenhagen. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Pedersen, Olaf (18 July 2011). "Jens Olsen". Den Store Danske. Gyldendal. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Story of The Astronomical Clock". Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Astromekaniker Jens Olsen" (in Danish). Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Pedersen, Marie Carsten (19 November 2013). "Smuk guide åbner verdensurets univers". Politiken. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "15. december 1955 Et forældet mesterværk tages i brug". Dagbladet Arbejderen. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Rasmussen, Gunner (15 December 2012). "Jens Olsens Verdensur". Den Store Danske. Gyldendal. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°40′32″N 12°34′10″E / 55.67556°N 12.56944°E / 55.67556; 12.56944