Civic Time - The Public Clock

Civic Time - The Public Clock

The appearance of the Provençal Consulates (or Councils) from the 11th century onwards partially liberated the towns from feudal power, whether aristocratic governance or religious. From then on, local inhabitants elected representatives who managed the administration of the towns, chose their Chief-Gaurd, or Commander, and levied certain taxes. The first official reference of the Consuls, our Councils, of Sisteron dates from 1266. The Municipad District's power asserted itself in the centuries to follow. It was evident with the construction of Local-Authority houses and, from the Renaissance onwards, with the construction of clock-towers reminiscent of the belfries of northern and eastern France.

In 1564, the first clock-tower was built on the vaulted passageway of an earlier gated entrance to the town. It dominates the Grand Place (The Great Square), first and foremost a civic, public space . The clock mechanism was made by Jean Hugon, a master clockmaker who came especially from Colmar. In the mid-18th century, the first clock was replaced by a pendulum clock. Repaired several times, reinforced in 1805, the tower was crowned with a wrought iron bell tower in 1839.

At the end of the 19th century, the clock on the square was ruined. It was demolished in 1890 and rebuilt on the same site. Saint-Marcel-Eysseric recorded on film the various stages of construction. The belfry is crowned with volutes (or helices, spiral forms) supporting a globe crowned with a weathervane associated with the four compass points. On the façade is engraved the inscription: Tuta montibus et fluviis, "Safe between its mountains and rivers". Two statues in the niches represent depictations of wealth and good fortune.



UNESCO Géoparc de Haute-Provence
Musée Promenade
Parc Saint-Benoît BP 30 156


+33(0)4 92 36 70 70


L’UNESCO Géoparc de Haute-Provence est un service de Provence Alpes Agglomération,
administré au travers d’une Entente Intercommunale avec la Communauté de Communes du Sisteronais-Buëch
et financé par la région Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur et le Conseil Départemental de Haute-Provence.

Provence Alpes AgglomérationCommunauté de communes du sisteronnais buëch
Région Sud Provence Alpes Côte d'AzurConseil départemental Alpes de Haute-Provence

Tous droits réservés - 2019 © - UNESCO GÉOPARC DE HAUTE PROVENCE - Politique de confidentialité - Crédits photos - Mentions légales