The Double Barrelled Cannon
If you read my review about The Tree That Owns Itself, you know how my mother insisted on us going straight to this famous tree as soon as we arrived in Athens for the first time. After she got over the excitement of seeing the only tree in the world that actually owns itself, she wanted to go see the Double-Barreled Cannon next, which is located in front of City Hall downtown.
The famous Double -Barreled Cannon was cast at the Athens Steam Company in 1862. The Cannon is a double six-pounder, cast in one piece, with a three degree divergence from the parallel between the barrels. Each barrel has its own touch hole so it can be fired independent of the other and a common touch hole in the center is designed to fire both barrels simultaneously. The idea was to connect two cannon balls with a chain and mow the enemy down like a scythe cuts wheat. However, the cannon did not quite perform as expected – on the several occasions it was tested, a cow was killed, a chimney was demolished, and rumor has it several onlookers were killed a well. So while the cannon wasn’t too successful, it is still displayed proudly downtown – pointing north, just in case.
Like the tree, this attraction is definitely worth going to see for the sake of its interesting history.