The Tour de France bicycle race passed through the Belgian town of Nivelles today (Monday, 2 July 2012).
A helicopter camera showed closeup pictures of a Jacquemart on the outside of one of the towers.
A Jacquemart (Jaquemart, Jack o’ the Clock) is a wooden or metal figure, mechanically controlled by a clock, and driven to strike the strike the hours. Often the entire figure rotates, but sometimes only an arm moves.
Dijon has one of the oldest and most famous, with the male figure which became known as Jacquemart installed in 1383. A female figure (Jacqueline) was added in 1651, a boy (Jacquelinet) in 1714, and a girl (Jacquelinette) in 1884. The children strike the quarter hours on small bells.
Nivelles Collegiate Church of Sainte Gertrude has a jacquemart known as Jean de Nivelles,
installed around 1400.
The next two pictures are from Alsace.
The last two pictures are from Louvain and Calais.