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Old age catches up with the Zytglogge

The Zytglogge has a striking problem swiss-image

Bern’s most recognisable landmark, the Zytglogge clocktower, will be closed for three days next week as experts repair its striking mechanism.

The Zytglogge has tolled every hour since its bell was cast and mounted in the clocktower in 1405 – until recently that is.

City of Bern authorities said in a statement on Friday that the clock has recently sometimes had problems in striking the quarter hour, and whenever this happened, it caused the hour to strike 15 minutes late.

Groups of tourists gather round the clock every hour to see the play of the moving figures, which include a cock crowing, a king turning over an hour glass and a procession of bears moving in a circle.

Experts from a company specialising in old tower clocks will begin removing and repairing the quarter-hour striking mechanism and individual gears from Monday. Guided tours to the interior of the Zytglogge are expected to start again on Thursday.

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