Vienna – Anker Clock (Ankeruhr)

The big parade is at noon only!

This clock in Vienna has 2 sides… look at both to ensure you get to the historic story side.

The animated clock presents different elements rotating over 12 hours. It is at 12 noon that you can see all 12 figures with its associated music stroll.  During other times, on the hour, a new symbolic historic persona parades for the next hour. Even if you are there at noon, the clock features and symbols are rich, pleasing and fun to watch.

The sun above the clock and the snake at the bottom sure brings some questions on all the significance of the details included in this artwork. The angel and skeleton represents humanity and death and are standing at the top. Every 5 minutes is not numerated as usual, it is represented by a symbolic image. An owl, double heart pierced with an arrow, dramatic mask and gears are interesting.  Signification can vary but some will probably find a representation of love, health/medicine, music, art, knowledge, and mechanics just to name a few. While the hour (in Roman characters) is “carried” by the representation of the hour, the actual minutes are indicated above the hour by a triangle on a longitude numerical ruler.

The clock’s first design occurred in 1914 and was ready to function in 1915, however, the official continual work was postponed after the end of the First World War. In addition, due to the change of monarchy role, the clock was modified to adapt to the new era.

The clock was damaged during the Second World War but was back in operation in 1956. The sound was updated to adjust to new technology available.

The time indicator sits between two buildings and is named after the insurance company, Der Anker, who initiated the idea. Again, the books are not wrong and it is only at 12 noon that there is something more to see.  It is not because other people are waiting just before any hour that something will happen. When we were there, a local person stood there to make fun of the ones who waited. Hahaha!