Schwäbisches Turmuhrenmuseum – Mindelheim, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Mindelheim, Germany

Schwäbisches Turmuhrenmuseum

Held in an old church, this clockwork museum maintains a special focus on titanic tower timepieces. 

Ticking away endlessly down the years, the giant timekeepers kept in the collection of the Schwäbisches Turmuhrenmuseum were made to operate in public towers but now sit in a private tower collection where they can be appreciated for their elaborate inner workings as well as the size of their faces. 

Held in a former church once known as the Silvesterkirche, which itself has a tall tower, the museum began in 1979 when a private collector’s selection of historic public clocks was made into a public exhibition. The body of the old church as well as every floor of the tall tower are chock-a-block with whirring, clicking, ticking timepieces including around 50 large tower clocks and an assortment of pocket watches and other smaller examples of clockwork. The large mechanical contraptions come from a number of time periods as far back as 1562 and contemporary examples from the early 20th century.

One of the most impressive artifacts in the collection is a massive pendulum hanging in the tower. The long dangling weight is said to be the second largest component of its kind, ticking and tocking only once every five seconds (which might not seem like a long time, but sit there and count it out).

Like many other clock collections, the towering (pun intended) gems in the Schwäbisches Turmuhrenmuseum are worth your time many times over (triple pun score).