Rome's water clocks and Father Embriaco's talent

Jan 19, 2017 679

Giovanni Battista Embriaco (Ceriana, 1829 – Rome, 1903) was a Dominican friar from Liguria, with a penchant for clocks. Water clocks, specifically, or hydrochronometers, which he invented. Rome still keeps two of these sophisticated machines he made.

The most famous one is on the Pincian Hill, from where you can overlook the city from a beautiful panoramic square. It was placed there in 1872, although it had been invented in 1867, when Father Embriaco sent a prototype to the Paris Expo (the prototype was never even uncrated, due to technical difficulties). The hydrochronometer on the Pincian was built also thanks to the municipality's architect, Gioacchino Ersoch.

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