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5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bily Clocks Museum

Bily Clocks Museum
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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. An admission fee is charged. Tours are given regularly.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
181 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2011

You have got to see it to believe what these brothers created in their workshop.

Visited September 2011
2 Thank Jenn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“These uniquely designed, hand-carved clocks, are a lovely surprise, and well worth a detour.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2011

The Bily Clock Museum houses a number of clocks carved by two bachelor farmer brothers. Some of the clocks are as tall as a room, and each is uniquely designed. They show off the world-wide, broad education the brothers received from reading. The small museum is housed in a building occupied by Antonin Dvorak during his stay in Spillville in 1893. Several interesting displays reflect on his time in the town. Another interesting site in town is St. Wenceslaus Church where Dvorak played the organ for daily mass during his stay in Spillville. The church cemetery features some unique metal grave markers made by a local man. The Bily Clock Museum has displays regarding those markers too. This is a very interesting museum that is neat, clean, and with well-displayed materials.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank Stangene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
80 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Very Beautiful Clocks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2011

The clocks show amazing craftsmanship and real beauty. The price of admission was fair for the tour involved. The two guides who led our small group shared a lot of information on the history of the Bily brothers who carved them and about the construction of the clocks themselves. Upstairs was the quarters that housed Antonin Dvorak for a summer in the 1890's, and there are a fair number of artifacts from that time period (some which Dvorak actually used) and wall panels telling the story of Dvorak, his work, and his stay in Spillville. Our 4 and 6 year old's were too young to get much out of the Dvorak museum but really enjoyed the clocks. If you're in the area you should definitely check this out.

Visited August 2011
2 Thank Rehcsif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“A Must See!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2011

The tour is about 45 minutes long and is worth seeing. The history behind the magnificent clocks that were hand-carved is just amazing. There is also a barn and a school house on the property that you can go through as well. I am so glad we took the time to go see the museum. The story of these two brothers is truly awesome.

Visited July 2011
3 Thank Oregonian60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Extraordinary craftsman!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2010

The details and abilities of these gentlemen is wonderful. Their ability needs to be portrayed by Iowa on a large scale and they should be extremely proud of these men. If you go to this region of Iowa, I recommend it if you appreciate artisians. I think even children would love all the little moving parts!

2 Thank RoseyJake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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