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Jens Olsen's World Clock, Copenhagen

#152 of 538 in Things to do in Copenhagen
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Jens Olsen's World Clock or Verdensur is an advanced astronomical clock which is displayed in Copenhagen City Hall.
The clock was designed and calculated by Jens Olsen (1872 – 1945) who was a skilled locksmith, but later learned the trade of clockmaking. He also took part in the beginning of the clock's construction, but died in 1945, 10 years before the clock was completed.
The clock consists of 12 movements which together have 15,448 parts. The clock is mechanical and must be wound once a week. Displays include lunar and solar eclipses, positions of the stellar bodies, and a perpetual calendar, in addition to the time. The fastest gear completes a revolution every ten seconds and the slowest every 25,753 years.
The calculations for the clock were made up until 1928, after which they were supervised by the astronomer Professor Elis Strömgren. The drawings for the clock were made between 1934 and 1936, and the actual production of the clock took place from 1943 until 1955. The clock was started on 15 December 1955 by King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen's youngest grandchild Birgit.
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  • An astronomical clock that can be seen if you visit Copenhagen Town Hall. It looks very interesting and unusual. Free to visit, as the Town Hall is also. No need more than 10 minutes to see it.  more »
  • Enter the town hall and turn to the right. An impressive piece of workmanship. Opposite the information office. Free. Do pop in as you wander about this busy part of town. Don’t forget to continue...  more »
  • Free attraction, Jens Olsens World Clock inside the City Hall
  • The clock wasn't in operation when I visited, but it was still an amazing piece of engineering - it took 20 years of calculations by hand to create the plans! It's in city hall which is also a beautiful building to see. Lots of people were getting married so it was fun sitting in the grand hall just people watching.

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