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During Easter, we drove up to the Black Forest area of Germany. We visited the German Clock Museum (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum) on our way back from Baden-Baden. The museum is in Furtwangen, a small town just off the Black Forest high road (Schwarzwaldhochstraße, see our post here).

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The museum is housed in a very humble-looking modern building. It is located in a residential part of town (the town is so small that I don’t know if there is a non-residential part). Honestly, on the outside, I thought it looked like the library of a local high school.

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This region of Germany has a long history of making clocks – it claims to be the birth place of the cuckoo clocks.  See Wikipedia – cuckoo clock.

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There is an extensive display of the many styles of cuckoo clocks made over time and ample documentation about the history of its development. The clocks shown below are of the Bahnhäusle style, designed by Furtwangen clockmakers in the mid-1800’s.

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The museum traces the historical development of time-keeping from simple mechanical devices to clocks as most of us would recognize, to atomic clocks with a digital LED output.

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More wall-hanging clocks …

Furtwangen-9The collection includes many made in the last century.

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According to the atomic clock, we were there at 5:34 pm, Monday, April 1, 2013, 91 days or 14 weeks into the year.

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Apparently, many of the old mechanical clocks also produce music. We were treated to a demonstration of its function which was rather entertaining except the museum guide spoke German to the visitors who were mostly Germans.

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The museum did provide us with English guides which were helpful.

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There were many grandfather clocks and some very fancy decorated clocks.

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As many pieces were displayed behind glass, it was difficult to take pictures due to the reflection (in this case, two layers).

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I particularly like this clock (photo below) which shows the mechanism behind a minimal white enamel dial and gold filigree hands, all encased in an engraved glass dome (engravings hard to see in photo). Wouldn’t mind having this on the mantlepiece.

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In part two, we will look at watches.

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