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Clock Museum in Vienna – A Journey through Time

“I can hear the clock ticking but I can never find the time”, whoever said it was absolutely right. That’s exactly how I feel about time. How can you fit everything in a day? That’s my eternal question. Time is such an interesting subject, and there does seem to be a real lack of it.

Talking about time, I recently visited the Clock Museum in Vienna. Located in the heart of the town, the museum is housed in a beautiful old Viennese building. It is spread over three floors and it holds one of the largest displays of clocks in Europe, over 700.

This is also where you can learn about time and timekeeping. Timekeeping by means of mechanical devices is generally considered to have its beginnings in the late 13th century when the first weight-driven clockworks with escapements and oscillators were built.


During your visit, you can see some beautiful grandfather clocks…

…stunning pocket watches…

… extraordinary bracket clocks…

… astonishing musical clocks…


…rare pillar clocks…


… fascinating picture clocks with hidden dials…

… and amazing astronomical clocks.

The highlight of the museum – Cajetano clock, is an elaborate astronomical clock designed in the 18th century by the monk, David a Sancto Cajetano. 150 wheels and gears come together in splendid precision to show not only the time of day in different places, but also the movement of the planets and even solar and lunar eclipses.

dsc00464And the list goes on.


This is the time control clock for gas street lighting. Until after World War I, street lights were lit and extinguished by lamplighters, each lamppost was fitted with a time control clock such as this one. As early as 1923, however, gas lights started to be replaced by electric ones.


I was particularly interested in this room with rare clocks and curious specimens. In most cases they were made to an individual buyer’s specifications and were not intended for serialization.

There were very few visitors that day, which was perfect for me because for once in my life, I had all the time for myself…


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