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el sol i el temps | news >> A research project located 60 sundials in 33 villages of Jiloca (Teruel - Spain)

A research project located 60 sundials in 33 villages of Jiloca (Teruel - Spain)

A research conducted by Professor Ricardo Alonso Liarte and his sons, Joaquín and Ines Alonso, on sundials in the District of Jiloca counted nearly 60 clocks scattered in 33 municipalities. Sundials are facades of town halls, churches, chapels and homes are largely in poor condition, if not useless. Despite the state of neglect of this popular cultural heritage is being produced, by contrast, a small revival of sundials with ornamental purposes in homes and public facilities. Researchers labor demand conservation measures to keep existing watches sun, some of them very valuable, as the Ojos Negros, dating from 1617 or curiosity of the four that are in a fireplace in Torre los Negros.

This work was published in the Journal of Ethnology 28, published by the Center for Studies of Jiloca, which was presented yesterday in the town of Villafranca del Campo.

Study author and professor of mathematics institute Salvador Victoria in Monreal del Campo, Ricardo Alonso, said that for many years was curious sundials those who took photographs, but it was not until last summer when it became to conduct the research together with his sons Joaquin and Ines. "We started to make this heritage routes to locate forgotten, which are sundials. We focus on the region of the Jiloca and found almost 60 sundials spread across 33 villages."

Ricardo Alonso recalled the great role that made these elements in organizing the lives of people and how difficult it is to make an accurate clock sun, and know well read.

In the study, the researchers collected that "until well into the twentieth century did not begin to spread on a daily basis between the people of the towns the use of pocket watches or watch. The watch was a luxury and it was not a matter of go through the countryside and among cattle with expensive items. Therefore, to organize the day, to tell the time, you had to have other references. One was the clock tower, but demanded maintenance and did not always work accurately ". So they relied on a daily basis to lessons years and years of observation: the behavior of the shadows produced by the sun. "Many people I have spoken to prepare told us that this work is governed by the time the shadow covering this or that piece of forest or vice versa, when the sun was completely in a particular rock, sometimes the element observed was a particular stone facade of the church, a few ornaments or bell tower", said Alonso. Thus they calculate knew noon, the time when the sun is highest, food and rest. "The transfer to the study of the flow of the shadow of a stick along the day and days allowed to find a way to tell the day and offered an instrument which he did, the sundial," he added.

Mathematics and astronomy

In the research of the family Alonso Jauregui is stated that "the sundial is a scientific achievement is not an element of folk art. In its construction mathematics and astronomy involved. Although its appearance is simple (only needs in most versions, a stick and a wall), placing the rod on the wall and the precise drawing of lines that give the hours, is not a simple task".

A sundial has two basic elements: a rod that produces a shadow, called gnomon and a surface on which projecting said shadow quadrant. Normally this area is usually the wall of a building, but we found watches where the soil was or half cylinder. There are other clocks that have stylet (cylindrical polar sundial) having the perpendicular to the wall gnomon or those in which the stylus is the person (analematics). Of these there are also examples in the region of the Jiloca.


Ricardo Alonso influenced to read a sundial is not easy, since the time that marks a sundial does not correspond to the time of the wristwatch. One measures the daylight and another official time. "Solar time is the time that marks the sundial in place, and is the same for all points on the same meridian ... The true solar day and the average solar day are offset oscillating in a half hour throughout the year. This mismatch it picks up the call Equation of time ... ". he said. Ultimately, the true solar time have to effect you three settings: the equation of time, the length and the correction of the winter or summer.

In the research on the sundials of the District of Jiloca, the Alonso Jauregui family has posted nearly 60 clocks scattered in 33 municipalities. The entire collection is available, documented with photographs and information on the " Reloj del sol " voice Xilocapedia Centro de Estudios del Jiloca.

In the studio there polar sundials, they spend more missing his little known way, half cylinder with its upper plane is parallel to the Earth's axis. They have stiletto and time is read from the curved inner surface. One of such sundials, dated 1762, is in the south corner of the church of Cutanda. The other is in Villafranca del Campo, in a stately home next to City Hall and is seen on the cover of the publication.


Other sundials are made on a block of stone that supports to accommodate multiple clocks simultaneously. The Villar del Salz is located on the roof of a stately home and the Ojos Negros at City Hall, practically on top of the door. The Ojos Negros is dated 1617 and is one triple, containing a polar clock. This sundial by the changes that have been made in the facade is broken.

The article also explains that in El Poyo del Cid and there are double sundials Lechago similar characteristics in terms of design. "Whoever is facing morning sun has am to 12 pm. However, they are facing the afternoon have a different layout then, while one brand hours from noon, the other says any more. Another couple double sundials are in the Church of Barrachina and in the city of Villafranca del Campo. In both cases the sundials oriented morning sun have the stiletto shaped staple, while the afternoon maintain the support rod . One of them is circular and one square Both are the nineteenth century, as indicated by the inscriptions with the date can be read. The Barrachina in 1898 and that of Villafranca in 1883.

One of the sundials placed in an unusual place is in the Torre los Negros, in the yard of a private home. Four in a fireplace, two in each of the sides facing the southeast and southwest. Banon is another example where you can see the lines of a semicircular Renaissance fountain sundial on the edge of town. It's funny because it is not drawn on a flat surface but the insertion point of the stylus, which no longer exists, sits on the inside of a corner.

Example designs like circular constitute sundials. "At the Church of Barrachina joins another in the same town and one in Cosa, this with the peculiarity that has another up, flattened, to which were added some lines repainted. Both of the first half of the twentieth century as you can be read in the inscriptions that look, "according to the ethnographic publication.

The researchers note that unfortunately in some places there are virtually no traces of sundials that existed, such as those located in the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre and the facade of the church of Monforte de Moyuela, of which only survives the stylus.

Facades arrangements have removed harboring sundials, as has happened in a similar double sundial that is in the House Ferreruela the same town, and Bueña. In Barrachina and Lechago buildings had been demolished watches. The same happened in the Torre los Negros, but the sundial is kept in one of the walls still stand.

In the early twenty-first century they have placed new sundials. In addition to merely have a decorative function, there are well designed and targeted. The first can be seen in Bádenas, Bañón, Burbáguena, San Martin del Rio, Ferreruela of Huerva and Ojos Negros. Examples of seconds we Allueva, Monreal del Campo, Fuentes Claras, Luco de Jiloca and Corbatón.

Source: Diario de Teruel


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