For over a century the Strasburg Clock model has been one of the most popular exhibits at Powerhouse Museum. A young Sydney clockmaker, Richard Bartholomew Smith (1862-1942), built this model of a famous clock in Strasbourg, France between 1887 and 1889. In the following year the NSW Government purchased the model for £700 and arranged to put it on display at the Technological Museum, as this Museum was then known. There it soon became the main attraction.
Smith based his model on the astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral. Strangely, Smith never visited Strasbourg (which in his time was called Strassburg or Strasburg) to see the clock and claimed to have based his design only on a postcard and a book.
The Museum’s model operates every day starting six minutes before each hour. After some appropriate Australian music and a brief commentary, the procession of the Apostles tells a story from the Christian bible. In an alcove figures representing the four ages of Man change every quarter of an hour while there is also a crowing rooster and two cherubs, one of which turns a sandglass. Among a variety of fascinating dials one shows the position of the planets in relation to the Sun and another shows how the Sun, the moon and the stars appear over Sydney.
Please note that the Strasburg Clock is undergoing essential maintenance work during February 2021 and may not be running as scheduled.
Now open, free of charge
- Following NSW Health’s Public Health Order, face masks are now mandatory when visiting Powerhouse Museum. Any visitors who have visited one of the identified venues on the NSW Health list or have any cold or flu symptoms, should delay their visit.
- To visit the museum, simply arrive at the main entrance between 10am – 4.30pm and scan our QR to register for FREE entry
- Visitors wishing to pre-book their visit can do so here:
- Some exhibitions are not open. Find out which exhibitions you can see on your visit.
- To help plan your visit, please find information here about the measures we’ve put in place to keep everyone safe. Visitors are required to provide their name and contact details on arrival to support contact tracing in line with NSW Health rules and our COVID-Safe plan.
- If you wish to bring a group, or have any accessibility questions about your visit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9217 0222.
Back to top of page