Station: [4] Clock Mechanism and Gargoyle

M: The church bells of the Roman Catholic parish church of St. Servatius, calling the faithful to prayer – as they have done ever since the church was built in the mid-13th century.

F: You’re looking at the movement of the old clock from the church tower. It not only told the time, it also controlled the peal of the St. Servatius church bells.

The church clock was a wheel clock made in 1793 by Franz Grondal. He served as court clockmaker at the Electoral Court in Bonn from 1750 to 1783.

In 1990, the clockwork mechanism was transferred to our museum. To make that possible, a member of the museum staff had to disassemble the movement into all its individual parts in the church and put it back together here.

M: If you look through the skylight, you can see the top of the church of St. Servatius, which incidentally, is a listed building....

F: ... and used to be home to the gargoyles you see here. They date back to the 13th century and represent various beasts and apparently demonic creatures that were meant to protect the church from evil forces. The gargoyles were guardian figures, mid-way between the real world and the heavenly sphere...

M: ... but they also had a very practical purpose. They diverted rainwater away from the wall and sent a powerful stream gushing down to the ground.

These are the original gargoyles that once protected the main choir of the church. They were removed in 1985 and replaced with copies. Here in the museum, the originals are protected from wind and weather. Incidentally, keep a lookout for other gargoyles – for instance the ram or the dice player.

F: As you make your way to the next stop, take a look at the left-hand side of the passage, where you’ll see several Siegburg coats of arms from various periods – featuring the Archangel Michael and the lion of the Bergisches Land.

Foto: © Dagmar Trüpschuch