Photographer's Note

San Gottardo in Corte or San Gottardo a Palazzo is a church in Milan, northern Italy. It was built as Ducal Chapel by Azzone Visconti in 1330, and finished in 1336, as indicated by an inscription on the walls. It was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin but Azzone, who suffered from gout, later changed the dedication to St. Gotthard of Hildesheim, patron of gout sufferers. The design was by Francesco Pecorari from Cremona. The octagonal bell tower has the first example of public clock before, sun-dials were used.

During the great wave of tower clock building in 14th century Europe, around the time of the invention of the mechanical clock itself, striking clocks were built that struck the bell multiple times, to count out the hours. The clock of the Beata Vergine (later San Gottardo) in Milan, built around 1330, was one of the earliest recorded that struck the hours.

In 1335, Galvano Fiamma wrote:
“There is there a wonderful clock, because there is a very large clapper which strikes a bell 24 times according to the 24 hours of the day and night, and thus at the first hour of the night gives one sound, at the second two strokes, and so distinguishes one hour from another, which is of greatest use to men of every degree."

The octagonal bell tower seen here is one of the highest buildings in Milan.


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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9114 W: 63 N: 25635] (113767)
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