The Sundial of Santo Domingo – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Atlas Obscura

The Sundial of Santo Domingo

The first official clock in North America, it kept time for the Spanish government of Santo Domingo. 


Before there were cell phones, watches, clocks, and about a million other ways to check the time, there was the sundial.

The El Reloj de Sol de Santo Domingo is one of the oldest sundials in North America, and among the first known “official” time telling devices in North America. Located in Santo Domingo and built in 1753, it was used to keep official time for the Spanish under the administration of Francisco Rubio.

Built on a square pillar of rock, the sun dial - which works by casting the shadow from the moving sun onto a sort of time map - has two vertical dials and a equatorial dial on top, a replacement for the original which was broken off in a hurricane. Having no moving parts, and being made of only metal, mortar and rock the sundial is in excellent condition and continues to tell the time perfectly.

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June 27, 2010

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