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Astronomisch uurwerk te Wier
 
An Astronomical Clock
in the village of Wier, Friesland province, the Netherlands


On the home page you can see the digital version of the astronomical clock, with an acurate indication of the different clocks today.

The clockmaker is J. Fred M. Bruijn, he was born in the Hague in 1923.
 

Fred Bruijn had to hide from the Germans during the second world war because he would have to work in Germany. In 1943 he found a hiding address in the small village of Wier with the Foeke Hoekstra family,  in the north of the Netherlands, in the province of Friesland.
 

During this period he worked on the neighbouring farm of the Sevenster family. In the evening hours he picked up his hobby of repairing clock’s and making small astronomical clock’s. After a while he decided to make a large astronomical clock as gratitude to the people of Wier who had been good to him during his time of hiding. The astronomical clock would be placed on the tower of the church where it still is today.
 

The local carpenter Gerke Smidstra and the house painter  Albert van der Veen agreed to help him with the construction of the clock. With a jigsaw the cogwheels were sawn from plywood as metal was scarce during the war.
 

The building of the clock came to a halt when Fred Bruijn was betrayed in 1944 and he was transported to a concentration camp in Amersfoort. The clock was nearly ready at this stage.
His mother however arranged his release by slipping liquor to the camp guard. 

After the war Fred Bruijn studied in Amsterdam and he came back to Wier during his summer holidays to finish what he had started.
The silver painted wooden cogwheels worked perfectly.
 

On August 6th 1946 the astronomical clock was presented to the church of Wier.
 

In 1965 the wooden cogwheels were replaced by copper cogwheels with the help of several clockmakers in the Netherlands.   

J. Fred M. Bruijn died in 1996.


Pictures of the Astronomical Clock on the church on the "Het uurwerk" page
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