What’s the time?

16 Feb
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Plaça Universitat

I grew up in Madrid, and lived there again as an adult, and I was always surprised by the number of clocks everywhere. In contrast, Barcelona appears to have barely any clocks, that is, until you start looking for them, which is what I did recently. Here is what I discovered…

A great clock, is one that is found on a square and is visible from a distance. The clocks above and below, on two of the main squares in Barcelona, conform to these criteria, and although very different in style and setting, do a great job at telling the time.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Plaça Espanya

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Plaça de Sant Jaume

Two more squares, and two more clocks. Again, both are very different, yet either square would be ‘naked’ without its clock, especially the one below, which rotates and can be seen from quite far away.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Plaça Catalunya

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Plaça Catalunya

Where in my old hometown Madrid clocks would be stuck on poles at practically every intersection, in Barcelona clocks are a useful, but also decorative, part of any given building, and once you start looking for them, quite a few can actually be discovered, like the one (above) at the top of La Rambla, just where it joins Plaça Catalunya, and the one below, not far from it, on Carrer Pelai.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Pelai

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Ronda de Sant Pere

Another very visible clock, is the one above, a couple of steps away from Plaça Catalunya, on Ronda de Sant Pere. What struck me about it, was its greenish, aqua coloured face. Quiet striking, isn’t it? Did you notice that the clock on the left side is showing a different time from the one on the right? The clock below, on Ronda de Sant Pau, is rather more humble, but then again, it ‘lives’ on the façade of a residential building, and not on one of the grander, stately buildings that house a bank or a department store…

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Ronda de Sant Pau

My last example is a little cheeky one, as it’s basically the window display of a watch shop. But clocks are what I was looking for, and this one does meet the criteria. Right?

So what about where you live? Are there many clocks around? Feel free to bombard me with comments about the clocks in your city or neighborhood, and if you have photos of them, all the better!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Passeig de Gràcia

2 Responses to “What’s the time?”

  1. Tatiana February 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sweet! just today I was looking at the Scaextric one thinking: “funny, there aren’t that many street clocks in Barcelona… guess I was wrong!” ;)

    • Lisette February 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      That very same thing happened to me – uncanny!

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