Difference Between Jam Gadang VS Big Ben

Jam Gadang on Bukit tinggi

Difference Between Jam Gadang VS Big Ben

In this article I will write about Difference Between Jam Gadang VS Big ben. Who does not know Big Ben? the giant clock tower in London? when people talk about the capital of the London (UK), in my mind immediately pictured Big Ben. And I never dreamed one day I will be there, watching Big Ben up close.

Interestingly Big Ben had a “twin” in the country of Indonesia is a sure you also already know, “Jam Gadang” That said, the mechanical engine that drives the Big Ben and the Clock Tower, is the same. And only two in the world, which is used by both of these hours. Clock located in West Sumatra’s Bukittinggi town, is the pride of the city. Just as Big Ben also became an icon of London. Thus, on Bukit tinggi once the center of Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (Emergency) dubbed Van Londen Andalas.

“Jam Gadang” The Clock Tower, Twins of Big Ben

Gadang in Minang language, meaning that it is great. So the Clock Tower means that the Great Clock. Part ground-plan has an area of ​​13 x 4 meters and a height of approximately 26 meters, less than half the height of Big Ben. Like most of the tower, inside the Clock Tower consists of several levels where the top level is a storage area clockwork.

Jam Gadang on Bukit tinggi
Jam Gadang VS Big Ben

While Big Ben was built by the Victorian Gothic style, has a pointed spire, and 96 meters high. But there is one thing that makes icons and London City Bukittiinggi twin, the engine is in the second tower. Both the clock tower depending the country has a clockwork made by Vortmann Relinghausen. German engine manufacturers will make only 2 units in the world, one unit for the Big Ben clock tower in the UK and one for the Clock Tower in the city of Bukittinggi. Interesting right? Such as Big Ben, the Clock Tower consists of four sides. The fourth hour with a diameter of 80 cm is imported directly from Rotterdam Netherlands through the port of Teluk Bayur, famous harbor in West Sumatra.

(See also: About the tour de Singkarak and natural beauty)

Clock Tower was completed in 1926, during the Dutch colonial rule. This clock was built as a gift to the Secretary of the Fort de Kock (Bukittinggi City name of the time), Rook Maker of the Queen of the Netherlands. The construction and design of the clock tower is done by architect Yazid and Sutan Dental Mangkuto Rajo Ameh at a cost of 3,000 Gulden, a fantastic amount at that time. While laying the first stone is done by a small child 6 years old, the Son of Rook Maker.

The roof or the top of the Clock Tower has been amended three times, symbolizing the history of our nation. Beginning when it was built, the roof of the Clock Tower round with a chicken statue facing east. When the Japanese occupied Indonesia, the roof of the Clock Tower transformed into Pagoda. Meanwhile, after Indonesia’s independence, the roof of the Clock Tower transformed into Bagonjong, genuine typical Minangkabau.

What is Unique About the Clock Tower (Jam Gadang)?

The most interesting of the Clock Tower is the appearance of four roman numeral written as “IIII” instead with the symbol “IV” as we learned in school. The incongruity is still a mystery to this day. There are some theories that writing roman numeral four are related to aesthetics. When King Louis XIV request made hours, he felt there was a gap between “IV” and “VIII” side by side. So he took the initiative to change it into IIII to be balanced with the “VIII”.

Jam gadang vs big ben
Mistery of Number 4 in Jam Gadang

Another theory says there is a development of writing symbols of Roman numerals. Initially writing numbers 4 denoted by a four-letter I. Over time, an agreement was reached writing numbers 4 to “IV”, as we know it today.

There is another theory on the economic level when the blacksmith must be made of iron with a multiple of four. If the IV is written to “4”, then there will be a 3 rod V is wasted. Meanwhile, if “4” is written as “IIII”, the letter “V” only made four rods and a letter I as much as 20 cigarettes. It’s enough to save the manufacturing process.

But of the many theories, not yet known which cause differences in the writing of the Roman numeral four true. Another unique thing, the Clock Tower was built without support iron and mortar, but using a mixture of lime, egg whites, and white sand. Nonetheless, the renovation process continues until today.


From these differences I wrote an article on some of the history, if you want to come here, look at the comparison may add your insight, may be useful.

Difference Between Jam Gadang VS Big Ben
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Asep Ulchre

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