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World's Biggest Cuckoo Clocks

A cuckoo clock is basically a clock in which at a fixed duration (normally an hour), one or more cuckoo birds peek out of a small window and call of the common cuckoo is sounded by means of bellows etc. Larger cuckoo clocks also have some figurines which move about alongwith the call of cuckoo.

The Black Forest region of Germany is World famous for making these clocks. First clock in the region was built in mid eighteenth century. These clocks usually were made of wood and had the shape of architectural features of the majority of the houses in the area. This tradition has continued even today, though the inside mechanism has changed but the basic design has remained unchanged.

As a part of publicity many large cuckoo clocks were built in Germany and later in other parts of the World. In this post I have tried to locate large cuckoo clocks around the World, few of which at one time or other had held the record for being the World's largest.

The clocks included in this post are located at;
  1. Clock Park Eble, Schonachbach, Triberg, Black Forest, Germany
  2. Untertal, Schonach, Black Forest, Germany
  3. Höllsteig, Breitnau, Black Forest, Germany
  4. Niederwasser, Hornberg, Black Forest, Germany
  5. Gernrode, Germany
  6. Sankt (St.) Goar, Germany
  7. Wiesbaden, Germany
  8. Frankenmuth, MI, USA
  9. Sugarcreek Wilmot, Ohio, USA (Relocated from Wilmot to Sugarcreek in 2012)
  10. Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina
  11. Eduardo Castex, La Pampa, Patagonia, Argentina
  12. La Falda, Córdoba, Argentina
  13. Kitami City, Hokkaidō Prefecture, Japan
There may be more but till now, I have found only above 13. May be my readers can help me expand this list.

1. Clock Park Eble, Schonachbach, Triberg, Black Forest, Germany
World's biggest cuckoo clock is reportedly at the "Eble Clock Park", Schonachbach, Triberg im Schwarzwald, Germany. It measures 4.50 x 4.50 x 4.50 metres.

Image from Flickr is by LinksmanJD

For the benefit of tourists who cannot wait  for the hourly chime and coming out of cuckoos at the strike of the hour, a coin operated cuckoo clock has been provided on the other side of the building.

Image copied from Sir Töbi's Page

View location Google Maps

Source of info: uhren-park.de

2. Untertal, Schonach, Black Forest, Germany
This is World's first Biggest Cuckoo Clock. Made by clock maker Josef Dodd the clock is 3.60 metres long, 3.10 metres high and 1 metre deep.
Image from Panoramio is by Lucien Kivit

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: dasferienland.de

3. Höllsteig, Breitnau, Black Forest, Germany
This giant clock located near Best Western Hotel, is one of the largest cuckoo clock in the Black Forest area.

Image from Flickr is by sweenpole2001

View location in Google Maps

4. Niederwasser, Hornberg, Black Forest, Germany
This giant clock is part of the family owned producer of cuckoo clocks known as 'House of Black Forest Clocks'. It is also one of the largest cuckoo clock in the Black Forest area.

Image from Flickr is by JanetandPhil

View location in Google Maps

5. Gernrode, Germany
This giant cuckoo clock (whose cuckoo appears every fifteen minutes) was made by the Harz Clock Factory GmbH. At one time (1998) it reportedly was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Image from Panoramio is by wdittner

Besides the clock, the building also incorporates a giant weather house. With a height of nearly 10 meters it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the Largest Weather House in the World.

Image from Panoramio is by lilje

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: harzer-kuckucksuhren.de

6. Sankt Goar, Germany
Located at the 'Cuckoo Clock Center' it is reportedly the World's largest free standing cuckoo clock.
Image from Flickr is by *~YY~*

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: travelpod.com

7. Wiesbaden, Germany
This Cuckoo Clock was built in the early 1950s and at that time the clock was awarded the title of the "Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World". It strikes every half an hour. Overall height to tip of antlers is 5.25 metres, height of flanking figures is 2.6 metres and diameter of dial face is 2 metres.

Image from Flickr is by Astrid Walter

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: worldslargestthings - flickr

8. Frankenmuth, MI, USA
Frankenmuth has a large German population and manufacture of Cuckoo Clocks was started by immigrants from Franconia (now part of Bavaria).

One company known as 'Böening's Bavarian Clock Haus' and located at 250 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI. 48734 (source - enjoymichigan.com) had their building facade transformed into a working cuckoo clock, complete with moving musical figurines with about 1.8 metres clock dial. It was electronically controlled and the unique facade created a noticeable landmark which greatly increased business for its owners. The clock was reportedly largest in Americas. Later in 1972-73 a bigger clock was built at Wilmot, Ohio. (See # 9)

I could not find any recent image of the clock, however some info and couple of small images are available at utctime.us who had originally installed the clock. One of these images is shown below;
A further search on the Internet shows that presently local office of Thrivent Financial-Lutherans is located in this premises. This is supported by Google Maps and Street View (shown below) and there is no sign of the clock on the facade.

Apparently the clock has been dismantled. Unfortunately I couldn't find any information on internet about its fate.

Update: May28, 2010
Gregg1956, a member and explorer of Google Earth Community, has been very kind to call the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce as well as Frankenmuth Clocks who informed that it's been gone for about 5 years. (Thank you Gregg for taking the trouble in finding the present status of the clock.)

9. Sugarcreek Wilmot, Ohio, USA
This giant clock was originally located in the premises of Grandma's Alpine Homestead (aka Alpine-Alpa) at 1504, US Route 62, Wilmot, OH. Built in 1972-73 as a competition to the Frankenmuth clock (see #8 above) the giant clock is 7.2 metres (23.5 feet) high, 3.3 metres (24 feet) wide and 4.1 metres (13.5 feet) deep. Reportedly it was listed in Guinness Book of Records as well as in Ripley's Believe it or Not. Originally the clock was located on a hillock behind the main building and with passage of time it decayed and stopped working. In August 2007 the clock was renovated and moved from its original location to a new location adjacent to the restaurant. However in 2009 the restaurant was closed and the clock auctioned.

In 2012 the Clock was dismantled and re-installed in Sugarcreek, Ohio. (See image below)
Image from Panoramio is by Rumiana Koynova-Tenchova

Following Youtube was taken when the Clock was in Wilmot, OH, USA,


It is understood that it will be re-erected at Walnut Creek, or Sugarcreek in Ohio. Exact new location or timetable is not known. Therefore, I have presently palcemarked it at the Grandma's Alpine Homestead in Wilmot.

View location in Google Maps and Street View (As the clock has been dismantled, it is not visible in the street view.)

Update: June 15, 2012
As per comments received from Diana - Sugarcreek Information Center, the giant clock is now on Square of Sugarcreek OH. The Little Switzerland of OH the clock will be running by end of Sept 2012 for their Swiss Festival on Sept 28 & 29, 2012.  I will revise the location once I get more info.

Update: Nov. 22, 2014
The clock is now visible in Google Maps as well as in Google Street View. I have revised the location and added its image.

Source of info: experience-ohio-amish-country.com (link credit - Gregg1956)

10. Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina
This 7 metres high Cuckoo Clock was built in 1958 and was the first of its kind in the South America. The clock was inaugurated on May 25, 1958. The sound mechanism is controlled by an electric motor. A large Cuckoo bird made of wooden polychrome leans to sing the hour and half hour, accompanied by a giant gong. It has now become an icon of tourism in Villa Carlos Paz.
Image from Wikimedia Commons is by Isaias Abrutzky

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: skyscrapercity.com

11. Eduardo Castex, La Pampa, Patagonia, Argentina
Located in Plaza San Martín, the clock is 5 metres high and about 2.1 metres wide.

Image from Panoramio is by Lukewhite

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: http://www.eduardocastex.gob.ar (in Spanish) (English translation)

12. La Falda, Córdoba, Argentina
Designed by a local watchmaker the cuckoo clock was built in 1963 (five years after Villa Carlos Paz clock).

Image from Panoramio is by lalupipi

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: argentinaturismo.com.ar

13. Kitami City, Hokkaidō Prefecture, Japan

Located at the roadside station at Onneyu Hot Spring, the clock has an unconventional design as compared to other cuckoo clocks. It has a height of 19.8 metres and every hour, a huge porcelain bird proclaims the time alongwith appearance of fairy tale procession of mechanical dolls. It is claimed to be World's tallest.

Image Source: Hokkaido tourism website

View location in Google Maps

Source of info: city.kitami

Credits: I am thankful to kite_surfer, Master Cartographer Google Earth Community (GEC) whose post in the GEC Forum inspired me to search for similar clocks around the World.

3 comments:

Cynthia February 13, 2011 1:12 pm  

Thank you for posting this, you saved me a lot of searching as we're thinking of going to the Black Forest this summer and I was looking for cuckoo clock houses. Now all I have to do is plan my route and book a hotel. Once again, thanks a lot! Cyn

Diana,  June 15, 2012 7:53 am  

The World's Largest Cuckoo Clock that was at Alpine Alpa ,Wilmot OH is now on Square of Sugarcreek OH The Little Switzerland of OH the clock will be running etc by end of Sept 2012 for our Swiss FestivalSept 28n & 29 Work is being done daily come see.
Diana -Sugarcreek Information Center

CuriousJM June 15, 2012 7:58 am  

Thank you Diana for the information. Once the clock is up and running please send its pictures and I will be happy to include it here. I am correcting the text in my blog.

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