Monday, May 29, 2023

Muez revives his clock after 60 years, one of the oldest in Navarra

Muez revives his clock after 60 years, one of the oldest in Navarra

Three R’s (RRR): Recover, Restore and Relocate. This is how they decided to call the project in Muez to restore the old table clock on the church tower, which for 200 years has marked the hours in this small and charming town in the Guasalaj valley. A clock of which no trace of its installation is in the archives, but already in 1756 there is a written reference that school teachers would be paid to wind it. A daily operation that was maintained over time and that was passed from one hand to another until 1962, when it was closed after its manager, Aquilino Lizarraga, moved to live in Pamplona with his family. Went. For almost sixty years no one had climbed the graceful spiral staircase to the belfry, where the table clock had a small room attached to a bell on the roof of the church, which no longer rang.


Until three years ago, after more than half a century of silence, it was decided that one of Auzolan de Muez’s functions may have been to clean the church’s clock. An intact machinery was discovered here, still well oiled by the “honest” work of Aquilino Lizarraga, who protected it from oxidation and the remains of pigeons, assures Mari Carmen Vidaure, one of the participants of this local group. Diya, who has recovered one of these. Hidden and silent treasures in their town’s church. “Here we have the advice of the Yeregui Foundation, which was born from the Yeregui de Liza saga and later expanded to Guipuzcoa. They told us that what we had was a treasure and since then we have put it back into operation. worked in the city with the hope of seeing,” said Mari Carmen, who is certain that Aquilino’s precautions “saved his life, rather than killing him”. Removed “with the approval of the Principe de Viana who also advised us throughout the process.”


After that, the restoration began for which two janitors were involved “one is from Alsacua and the other is from Campanas but they have told us that they do not want to be revealed with their names,” assured Vidaure. The truth is that the work of these two experts has been decisive in the assembly and assembly of watch parts. A job, yes, that has helped dozens of neighbors. “The number is definitely higher than the 35 that we started with last year.” A process that involved disassembling and assembling 53 pieces, including nine iron and bronze wheels, as well as a 135 cm long pendulum. The piece is crafted within a wooden framework “of which we have touched only a few crossbars” and is worked with two stones weighing 28 and 47 kg. Vidaure assured, “They had already assured us that the age and use of the clock’s parts made it impractical to continue working permanently: we knew that we had to keep the clock in order to see it and enjoy it.” must be retrieved.” Many of the cogwheels, shafts and other parts of the clock are heavily worn and therefore cannot be exposed to the use they were originally designed for.

The clock already has highly developed “French” technology for those dates back to the early eighteenth century. It consists of two mechanical systems: “one that regulates the time and another that has to do with the hours, and for each of them there is a separate weight.” In between its stains it shows some repairs and replacement of parts. The most relevant may have been made by Miquelez, a watchmaker from Estella, who left his signature on the watch in 1860.


The final part of the project was a relocation mistake once it became clear that it would not return to the Tower Room. And for this, a place was sought in the temple where it would not affect the 40 positions of the wooden tombs which comprise the plan of the Church of Santa Eulalia de Muez. “Here, each family has always had our place in the church. Before this there were no benches and we brought chairs to occupy them”, remarked Vidaure. However, a hole for the clock has been found under the choir and next to the entrance to the tower. Lights have also been installed which make its mechanics visible and which make it a valuable decorative object, above which is a small bell “even older than around 1830”, which works with the rest of the “chimes” and tells the hours. and stockings. The location corresponds to a stone structure that protects tombs in the crypt of the church.

The clock, however, is part of the unregistered property of the church: “We talked to the archbishopric and they did not put any pressure on us to start the restoration. We have always felt supported by the parish priest and we think it is good that We must recover for our people”, Vidaure assured.

Anyone who is interested in viewing this jewel will be able to do so in the coming Mu’ez celebrations. Vidaure assured, “We will implement it in July on the days of the Battle of Valdejunquera and also at the end of August, when we will celebrate the festival of the Guasalaj Valley in Muez.” From Tierras de Iranzú he affirmed that it was a treasure “both for its mechanical techniques of French origin and for its antiquity”. It was the instrument with which the hours were marked as well as the most important activities, such as the angel “with which all domestic and field work was stopped”. However, since this past Sunday, the old Muez Clock has started marking other times inside the temple. Mari Carmen concluded, “Once recovered, restored and moved, we can hear and admire it.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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