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.
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.
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.
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…
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!