Telling time is hardly the role of clock towers anymore. But, they can still draw a crowd. Take the face of Chicago's Wrigley Building. While there are no official numbers on how many visits its clock tower gets, the Windy City did see 42 million visitors in 2012, many of whom probably spent time downtown taking in the city's architectural highlights, including this 1920s icon.
A well-placed clock can remind you where you are and, in some cases, even push you along to where you're going. The train station clock in Limoges, France, used to run two minutes early to encourage passengers to keep moving along swiftly to catch their trains. In Saudi Arabia, the newest clock tower in the world reminds people when to pray.
All of this information conveyed by a clock -- time, location, scheduling -- is why clock towers were placed at the site of important historical events or built as part of city walls or part of transit systems such as train stations. Over time, several of the world's clock towers have become more than timepieces: they're landmarks synonymous with their locations. Regardless of whether you seek them out or not, these beautiful clock towers are emblems of their cities and help out-of-town visitors get their bearings far from home.