Maurizio Tower, built in Piazza del Duomo, in Orvieto, between 1347 and 1348, is one of the oldest clock towers in Italy. Maurizio is the bronze automaton on top of the tower, which, at fixed time, swings its body and strikes the bell with its hammer.
The history of the Maurizio Tower is closely related to the history of the Orvieto Cathedral. The tower was comissioned by the Opera del Duomo, and built between 1347 and 1348, to support the worksite.
The tower was built originally to be a sundial, because at the time of its construction, there was no mechanical clock available. Its role was to indicate the start and the end of the work schedule.
The current clockwork mechanism dates back to the 18th century, when a countwheel was added to strike the quarters on the smaller bells. Other adjustments were made between 1860 and 1870. In 1905, the headgear of the Maurizio was replaced.
On October 29, 2011, the clock tower was brought back to use, and the building has become an information point for the Duomo and the Museum System of Orvieto’s Opera del Duomo (MODO).
HOW TO GET THERE
Maurizio Tower is located on Via del Duomo, close to the northwest corner of Piazza del Duomo, about 110 meters away from the nearest bus station, found in the southern part of the same square, reachable with the buses 1, A and CC.