German Clock Museum Germany, Freiburg im Breisgau

German Clock Museum

The German Clock Museum is situated near the centre of the Black Forest town of Furtwangen im Schwarzwald, a historic centre of clockmaking. It features permanent and temporary exhibits on the history of timekeeping. The museum is part of the local technical college (Hochschule Furtwangen).

The museum is devoted to the history of timekeeping devices. A major focus is on clockmaking in the Black Forest, both as a cottage industry and on an industrial scale. The museum has an extensive collection of clocks and other artefacts relating to horology, not just those from the Black Forest, but also clocks and watches from around the world and spanning from prehistoric times to the present. The collection includes early cuckoo clocks from the 18th century as well as the prototypes of the modern Black Forest souvenir. The work of Robert Gerwig formed a primary basis of the museum.

Around one third of visitors book a personal guided tour during which clocks and musical instruments are set in motion. Especially during the holidays children may build and decorate a clock in the "clock workshop". For school classes the museum offers themed workshops in modules, some of which are designed to match the education syllabus. The collection has 8,000 items and about 1,300 clocks are permanently displayed. As well as clocks, the collection includes a company documents archive and a specialist library of German-language literature.

In 2006 the museum was one of 365 places selected to represent Germany in the federal chancellor's competition, Land of Ideas. In 2008 the museum was awarded the distinction of being an "anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage". At the same time the museum became a milestone on the German Clock Road that links places in the region associated with clockmaking.

In 2010 the museum had 60,000 visitors.