Civic Tower

The Clock Tower (mt. 72), today called Civic Tower, was built on an ancient trunk of a Roman tower, on the banks of the Montone river, which flowed through today’s Piazza Saffi. The earthquake of 1781 caused the collapse of part of its top, which was later rebuilt with an octagonal lantern. In 1818, the north-western corner of the building began to sink, so that consolidation and restoration works were ordered and completed in 1822.

On November 9, 1944, the Germans collapsed the tower and destroyed the theater below. The present tower was rebuilt in 1975-76, a few feet taller than the original, with a reinforced concrete supporting structure clad in exposed brick, with an architectural configuration similar to the original. The clock in the Civic Tower, dating from ancient times, was controlled by the Clock Magister, who was responsible for its operation and maintenance until it collapsed in 1944. There were three bells in the tower: in the early 1900s, the largest called firefighters in case of a fire, the smallest called elementary school students, and the last rang the hours.

The clock, as originally designed, has four faces, one on each side of the tower, and is currently electrically powered.

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