One man's little-known private clock museum hides inside a historic farmhouse, set amidst the Austrian countryside.
In the remote and lovely village of Aschau, Austria, local Wolfgang Komzak has gathered a private collection of clocks that seems frozen in time, much like the town itself.
Opened in 2003, Komzak renovated his historic farmhouse to show the ever-expanding collection of stunning, historic timepieces that had become his life’s work. As one of the world’s most sought after experts for the restoration of tower clocks (since retired), Komzak had spent a lifetime amassing whole and partial timepieces in various degrees of working order, many of which museum curators would die for.
Disbursed across several little houses, his collection spills out of ancient granary, and includes a forge and precision workshop he installed for the restoration of his own and others’ clocks brought in for repair. His collection of rare clocks, mostly from the 15th to the 19th centuries, is the largest private collection of its kind in Middle Europe. He has traveled all over Europe in search of outstanding pieces, and currently has about 70 of these majestic clocks, all of which he knows how to take apart and reassemble.
The museum is a work of love, rather than a money-making venture. Komzak continues to keep a roof over his head and his clocks’ hands by fielding the calls that come his way whenever historic churches are renovated, or neighbors’ attics are emptied only to discover hidden horological treasures. Over the years, he has developed a reputation for bringing timepieces, big and small, ticking back to life. Komzak gives these treasures that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, a little more time.
Know Before You Go
Accessible from early May to late September, with no fixed open times. Komzak asks interested visitors to arrange a "timely appointment" via telephone or email. Check official site for contact info.
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