Sundials

Stanisław August appreciated beautiful clocks and astronomy. He gathered a collection of pendulum clocks, which not only indicated the time, but also adorned the interiors of his residence. They symbolized order and tidiness. However, they required frequent adjustments, as they would often run fast or slow. However, there was a way to determine the precise time: setting the clocks according to sundials, which show the exact time at noon.

We know about two sundials which the King commanded to set up in the Royal Łazienki. Both have been preserved in their original forms. Apart from their practical use, they decorated the park’s nooks and corners, as well as alleys; their symbolic meaning was also important to the King. Sunlight signified reason, and alluded to the principal ideas of the 18th century - the age of reason and Enlightenment. The fascination with clocks was not exclusive to the Polish King; it was shared by other contemporary rulers such as Louis XVI, Frederick II, and Catherine II.

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