Louis Zimmer was born in Lier on September the 8th. 1888, and passed away in the same city on December the 12th. 1970. That same year, in June, he was proclaimed Honorary Citizen of Lier.
He was a clock-maker, a self-made man in astronomy and a realisator of three world-famous creations: The Centenary Clock, the Astronomical Studio and the Astronomical Clock.
Since 1930 the Centenary Clock and the Astronomical Studio are both located in the Zimmer Tower.
The tower building goes back to the 13th. century and was originally called the Cornelius Tower, forming part of the wall around the city. Every day, at noon, a hatch in the side-façade opens, showing personalities from both local and national histories between 1830 and 1930.
The first floor houses the remarkable Astronomical Studio with planetarium and a revolving disk at the ceiling which is a replica of our Northern hemisphere. On the second floor we find the gear mechanism which is controlled by a master-clock. Every six seconds the whole system is brought into movement to adjust the 75 dials.
This building was inaugurated in 1960 by the city of Lier to accommodate the Astronomical Clock.
Louis Zimmer has constructed this huge clock for the Brussels World Exhibition in 1935. 1938 the clock was sent to the United States for the NewYork World Fair.
This masterpiece is 16 feet high and weighs over 4500 Ibs. It contains 93 dials and 14 automatic machines. In this pavilion is also displayed the original workshop of Louis Zimmer as well as a number of his smaller masterpieces. Furthermore a sculpture made by the art metal-worker Lodewijk Van Boeckel and a silver necklace from the Guild of the Saint-Sebastien crossbowmen (1643-1930) are shown.