The Wedding Tower

In honour of the marriage between Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich in 1905, the city wanted to give the couple a gift. A previously expressed desire of the Grand Duke’s to have an observation platform on the Mathildenhöhe was subsequently approved by the City Council in 1906. The Wedding Tower designed by architect Joseph Maria Olbrich was thus erected in 1907/1908.

Architecture

The Wedding Tower consists of a broad multi-stage pedestal with entrance porch, dark clinker brick, a highly distinguished tower body with eccentric bands of windows carrying around the corners and a five-spired crown. The relief above the entrance porch is a work by the sculptor Heinrich Jobst. It shows the personification of the Four Virtues: strength, wisdom, justice, and mercy.

Clock tower and sundial

On the Wedding Tower we find an archaic sun dial, as well as a modern mechanical clock. The artist and author Friedrich Wilhelm Kleukens created the sundial on the south facade of the tower, in time for the fourth and last artists’ colony exhibition in 1914.

The square dial face depicts the sun in the middle and the hour lines on a white background, surrounded by a blue glass mosaic frieze with gold stars. Depicted between the stars are, also in gold, the twelve zodiac signs. The mechanical gold leaf clock on the north façade, with symbols representing the three Theological Virtues of faith, hope and love was also added in 1914.