Germany off the beaten track

Marienberg fortress high above the Main river in Würzburg. © CTW/ Andreas Bestle

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Incredible Astronomical Clocks

The primary purpose of astronomical clocks was to calculate Easter, a complicated business since the date is related to the phase of the moon and must be known six weeks in advance in order to begin Lent on time.

St. Mary’s ChurchinRostock includes an astronomical clock dating from 1472 which is the only one of its kind still in working condition with its original clockworks. The most famous feature of Münster Cathedral’s interior is the magnificent astronomical clock (1540-43). Impressively, the years listed on the calendar are 1540 to 2071!

St. Mary's Church Rostock

Building started mid 13th century, but in 1398 the nearly finished building collapsed. After that a cross-shaped Basilica emerged, built in the style of the French cathedral style and the "Marienkirche" in Lübeck. Its tower is Baroque. The art treasures of the "Marienkirche" (St. Mary's Church) are worth seeing including the astronomical clock built in 1472, the bronze baptismal font consecrated in 1290, the Rochus altar from around 1530 and the Baroque organ.

St. Paul´s Cathedral Münster

The "St. Paulus Dom" (St. Paul's Cathedral) is an architectural masterpiece dating back to the 13th century. Spanning the threshold of the Romanesque and Gothic periods, it took some 80 years to complete the colossal building. In fact very few cathedrals in Germany are as richly adorned as this one. A marvel of the late medieval times, the astronomical clock features a calendar extending to the year 2071, with glockenspiel workdays at noon and Sundays and holidays at 12:30 p.m.

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