Water Clock


The only traces of this ingenious medieval device, installed in 1357, are 13 wooden beams jutting from the wall above street level. Each held a brass bowl, into which a metal ball would drop from the window above, to chime the hour. The clockworks were inside the building, powered and regulated by a water cistern that drained at a steady pace. The clock was built along with Medersa Bou Inania across the road, to track correct prayer times.

A designated timekeeper, a mouaqqit, regulated the clock. There were similar clocks across the medieval Arab world, including another in Fez at the Kairaouine Mosque, which had a similar structure in the Dar Mouaqqit tower adjacent to the mosque's main entrance. The brass bowls have been removed for preservation, for use when the clockworks are eventually restored.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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