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Napoleon’s time is painted at Ghilini palace

Summer time is the last convention to mark our time: the scanning of hours has flown in the wake of different eras and rules. Looking up can offer the mysterious charm of traces veiled by routine. The pair of sundials painted on the exposed brick wall overlooking the courtyard of Palazzo Ghilini (the Piedmontese-style baroque residence, home to the Province of Alessandria since 1869 and the Prefecture, dates back to the eighteenth century) preserves the memory of times long gone.
The proximity of French and Italic solar quadrants followed the strong expansion phase of the time system extended to Piedmont by the Napoleonic invasion. The French method introduces 24 identical and regular intervals in the year distributed between two cycles of 12 hours each: the arrangement is symmetrical at noon, the count opens at midnight on the antimeridian block and at noon on the afternoon block. The time chain starts in the morning at 7 am and ends in the afternoon at 5 pm. The position of each hour line is a fan-shaped but the shape, compared to the solar quadrant of the canonical hours, is more circumscribed. The point generator (or ecliptic) guarantees the confluence to each hour line and the joint to the foot of the stylus: The position of the hourly lines with respect to the stylus can be traced back to the declination of the west wall when the set of lines to the right of the meridian line is more dense or vice versa.
The French method marked only the local time and, thus, fell in the wake of steam spread by the engines used to speed up transport.