“a favorite attraction of young and old for many years”
The Bily Clocks Museum & Antonin Dvorak Exhibit has been a favorite attraction of young and old for many years. Visitors return year after year to the enchanting town of Spillville, Iowa, (located thirteen miles southwest of the town of Decorah), to marvel at the unique clocks that two brothers, Frank and Joseph Bily (bee-lee) hand-carved. The clocks depict history, art, religion and culture and are covered with hundreds of expertly carved figures. Some stand over nine feet tall. Also housed in the museum on the second floor is an exhibit in memory of the famous Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak. In the summer of 1893, he along with his family, occupied the second floor of the building.
Definitely on the quirky side. The clocks, and the story of the bachelor farmers who made them, are unusual, to say the least. The guide will generally start them up for you so that you can see the action of the clocks. The locals are very proud that the composer, Antonin Dvorak, lived one summer in this building during his stay in the U.S. in 1893. There is a small exhibit on Dvorak upstairs from the clocks. The Catholic Church in town is also unique and built in Czech style. Worth a look if you are this far off the beaten track.
If you would have told me a few months ago that one of the world’s most incredible handmade clock collections is located in a small northeast Iowa town, I’m not sure I would have believed you. But after stumbling upon Spillville’s Bily Clock Museum I was blown away. Not only is this small museum beautiful, it's also the only place in the world you can see a clock made by the two Iowa brothers.
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Bily Clock Museum
- Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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