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Clock tower of the Concierge

This clock is the first public clock in Paris of the year 1370 by order of Charles V. The watchmaker was Henry de Vick.

It is located in the Clock Tower, one of the towers of the Conciergerie. You have to imagine it in the Middle Ages, where people constantly passed by here in order to know the time. Today many people walk next to it without even realizing that the clock exists.

Look at the details, above there is a shield with the Fleur de Lis, a symbol of French royalty, as well as the coat of arms of Poland. The two female figures around represent Law and Justice. There are two plates placed above and below, with Latin inscriptions that say the following:
- "He who has already given him two crowns will give him a third", alluding to the Crowns of Poland and France, led by King Henry III.
- "This machine, which makes twelve parts only a few hours, teaches to protect justice and defend the laws."

A detail is also the number IV that does not have its classical representation as "IV". A legend tells that King Carlos V recriminated the artisan having represented 4 as IV. The watchmaker said that was how it was written, but Carlos V responded angrily: "The king is never wrong." Therefore, the use of the IIII should continue.

As you can see, this watch has undergone numerous restorations, the last one finished in November 2012.


Pratical Information


Cité (Line 4) or Saint-Michel (RER B or C).
Quai de l'Horloge, Paris District 1