THE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK OF THE ST.-MARIEN-KIRCHE IN ROSTOCK
The ST.-MARIEN-KIRCHE ("Church of Our Lady") in Rostock is situated in the centre of the Hanseatic City and can be considered as a piece of jewellery among the northern German brick buildings. Inside the church you can find the Astronomical Clock which is a technical masterpiece of international recognition. It belongs to a group of similar European clocks such as in Danzig, Strasbourg or Lund. But the clock in Rostock is the only one that still has its original mediaeval clockwork from 1472 which still precisely functions. Its five clockworks are wound up every day.
The accurate indication of the time, the phases of the moon and the solar year as well as the numerous data on the calendar disc demonstrate a high expertise of the 15 century’s science. The first-class artistic remodelling of the clock in 1643 links the time check with the surrounding space of the church. The Apostles with the blessing Lord in the upper part of the Clock and the Evangelists as guards in the four corners point out that our time is a blink of an eye and flies like the wind compared to the eternity of god.
The rotation of the Apostles at 12:00 o’clock is the beginning of the daily prayer at noon in the summer months. The strike of the hour involves a choral of the glockenspiel that the cantor chooses on a roller depending on the church season.
The data on the current calendar disc comprise the years from 1885 to 2017. The new calendar disc has already been prepared and will be affixed to the clock on 1 January 2018. It will be the starting shot of the celebration of the 800 anniversary of the Hanseatic City of Rostock. Many inhabitants hope that on this day it can be announced that the Astronomical Clock will be registered as a World Heritage Site. If you take a closer look at the Clock you will be convinced that it would be worth such an award.
Tilman Jeremias, Pastor of the Protestant-Lutheran parish of the inner city of Rostock