You are here

Listen to the music of time! Attend an impressive clock exhibition!


For the attention of visitors — more than 150 interesting and even unique ticking, ringing, chiming and singing clocks.

The exhibition has been created at the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation with an accent on particularly valuable specimen from the clock collection of the grandiose Museum depository.

Currently the collection of the Museum holds 528 clocks and their accessories, representing the period from the 17th century until nowadays.

The exhibition “Music of Time. Clocks from the Collection of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. 17th-20th Century” includes more than 150 clocks from the Museum collection and also historic interior objects arranged in chronological order according to the development of clock types and styles.

There is the ticking, ringing, chiming and singing sound of clocks at the exhibition, creating a magical music of the continuous passage of time.

The clock collection of the Museum features a comprehensive spectrum of clocks that is also quite extensively represented at the exhibition. There are sundials, table clocks, chimney clocks and grandfather clocks, tower clocks, travel–carriage clocks, alarm clocks, lady and gentleman pocket and wrist watches and also clocks serving as luxury items. These clocks have been made by craftsmen from Europe, America and other places of the world and also workshops and companies with already legendary names in the area of clock art. The collection represents clocks manufactured in Latvia in the period from 18th until 20th century.

The parade of clocks at the exhibition is quite impressive since every timepiece has its unique story. The story of the exhibition is started by a 17th century wall lantern clock and it is continued by a range of unique artefacts, for example, a sundial manufactured in the 18th century in Germany, Nuremberg, a Friesian Warmink wall clock manufactured in the 17th century in Holland, Schwarzwald clocks of the 19th century, an expressive Konsole clock created by craftsman Jon in the 18th century in Jelgava, a grandfather clock designed by a craftsman from Riga Gottfried Ritmer in the 18th century, a graceful table clock with golden Minerva and Venus figures, an impressive 19th century clock from the collection of Marta Alberinga and many more.

It is evident that the tower clock face of Torņakalns Church in Riga, which has displayed the passage of time at the church tower since the end of the 19th century, is the most noticeable exhibit at the exhibition.

Already in the past clocks not only had a functional purpose of showing time, but they also manifested the material status of people, served as luxurious accessories, interior elements and artwork and also became the objects of ardour and passion of collectors.

One may notice diverse traits of style through the change of eras in the displayed clocks and interior elements: Baroque whirls and richness of decorative elements, playfulness of Rococo, angular forms and laurel wreaths of Classicism, monumentality of the Empire style, fragile and whirled floral patterns of Art Nouveau and also the functional and laconic style of the 20th and 21st centuries.         

Thanks to the work of the Museum renovators, in the course of preparing the exhibition a part of clocks have been renovated and are working properly now, thereby giving a chance to visitors not only to familiarise with various clock types, but also to listen to their sound and enjoy the “music of time”.       

The exhibition will be available to visitors until the end of this year.

The Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation is the oldest public museum in Latvia and Baltic States and also one of the oldest in Europe. The Museum is located in Old Riga in a prominent 13th–20th century architecture monument — the ensemble of Riga Cathedral. 

The collection of the Museum holds more than 500,000 objects classified into about 80 collections.

The Museum has three branches and two of them are situated in Riga: the Mentzendorff’s House (the 17th–18th century Rigan house–museum) and the Latvian Museum of Photography.