The 'Moors' of Venice

The two Moors, once known as li doi ziganti, Torre dell'Orologio, Piazza San Marco, Venice
For more than five hundred years, the two 'Moors', the name given (in the 18th century) to the pair of bronze bell-jacks, have been striking the hours. The bell-jacks were originally nicknamed li doi ziganti, the two giants, on account of their size (2.6 metres). 

Sporting nothing more than short woollen tunics, they bell-jacks are, in fact, two shepherds, one old and bearded, the other young and clean-shaven. It is thought that the figures, who symbolise the passing of time, were cast by Sigismondo I Alberghetti in 1497/8.


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