I think if you come to Prague, you can't miss seeing this! The clock work looks like an amazing piece of construction. Constructed in 1490, it has stopped working many times and survived war. It was gone through many restorations. You can climb to the top of the clock tower which has 360 degree views of the city. There is an elevator if you don't want to make the climb. The climb is not too bad. The cost is 120Kè at the time of our visit.
Please refer to the website on more history and the mechanics of the clock and how it works.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN AN ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK IN ACTION, THEN WATCH THIS ONE!
The clock is known as a "technical monument." This is because some of the original components are still functional, and the basic structure of the machine has not changed since the Middle Ages.
Why an astronomical clock - Because it depicts the movement of celestial bodies (including the Sun and the Moon) thus showing time was merely a secondary element.· Minutes were not important on the clock, so the tower clockmakers created separate dials to show the minutes.
The Prague Astronomical clock's dial, is richly decorated with braided cut vines. Figures and masks can be seen on the stone mouldings around the Clock.
Right at the very top of the Clock, is a gilded figurine of a Rooster which doesn't move, instead it crows at the end of the show.
Below the Rooster, is the "Stoned Angel," a bust of an Angel which is one of the oldest sculptures on the clock.
On the left hand side of the clock, is the "Vain" man who can be seen holding a mirror. The statue nods his head in disapproval while looking in the mirror. The other, is the "Miser," who features a rod and a pouch. He symbolizes vice!
On the right hand side are another two figures. the "Skeleton"·or "Grim Reaper" features an hourglass, which rotates as a symbol of measuring lifetime. Ringing the bell and a consistent swinging is meant to remind us all of our fate! The figure of the death has been the oldest part of the figural decoration of the clock since the late 15th century. Next to him stands the "Turk," who symbolizes extravagance and pleasure in the sense of human depravity.
Lower down is the statue of the Archangel Michael, a Philosopher, Astronomer and Chronicler. Lets not forget the 12 Apostles!
The apostle parade can be seen on the Prague Astronomical Clock every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. till 11 p.m.
All of the figures on the Prague Astronomical Clock have been copies since 1976. The originals are located in the Prague City Museum.
As with lots of sights in Prague, I found many had a legend, the Astronomical clock wasn't any different!
The legend is about the clockmaker, Hanus, who is said to have his eyes pushed out after finishing his work, to stop him from making another. For revenge, he broke the clock and it took 100 years to repair it.
Another legend says that if the clock stops for any length of time, Prague will fall.
I hope both of them are not true!
So, now I have told you about the Clock, come early and join the crowds that stand infront of the clock to see all the bits and pieces operating!
Want to know more, then check out the excellent website listed below.
The Old Town Square's top draw is the famous ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK adorning the Old Town Tower. Constructed in 1410, visitors who flock into the Square, are often astounded by the clock's detailed mechanical movements which include a bell tolling skeleton, a crowing rooster and the twelve apostles circling the clock face.
Astronomical Clock was installed originally in 1410 and was rebuilt by the Master Hanus in 1490. It consists of 3 parts; the procession of 12 Apostles, the astronomical clock and the calendar. Tourist gathers around to see the procession of the 12 Apostles coming out before Christ out of the trap door. The attraction is held every hour on the hour.
Transport: Staromestska (line A)
Tram stop: Staromestska (trams 17, 18, 53)
There are several animated figures on the side of the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square. Some of these represent the four figures of things that were despised at the time of the building of the clock, some 600 years ago.
When the clock rings on hour there is an absolute mob in Old Town Square. Just be careful with your wallet!
The animated figures on the Old Town Clock that you will see are:
1.Death- of course, the skeleton. The grim reaper holds the hourglass in his hand, symbolizing the inevitability of death.
2. The Turk- why he is stationed next to death I'm not entirely sure why. He is depicted with a lute and represents earthly pleasure and human depravity.
On the other side of the clock you will see:
Marnivec- holding a mirror, he symbolizes vanity.
Next to him is the miser- holding a bag of gold he symbolizes human greed.
There are four figures below next to the astromical symbols. These do not represent bad things at all.
On the left side are (no pictures, sorry)
On the right side are:
The Recorder (philosopher)
Prague as many other Czech old cities has also an Astronomical Clock which is dated back to the 15th. century. It is very popular spot among tourist and expect it to be very crowded, especially on the hour when the show is on. It is in the Old Town City Hall by the Town Square.
That's probably one of the most famous landmarks of Prague and happens to be my favorite. The precise and stunning artwork that is presented to everyone's view is quite spectacular. Every hour at .00 a crowd gathers in front of the Astronomical clock in order to observe the centuries-long procedure of apostles shuffling up above the square and the whole thing ending with a rooster screaming and thus announcing that a new hour has begun.
In 1410, the master clockmaker Mikulas de Kadano together with the maths and astronomy teacher Jan Sindel designed the clock. In the first times, the clock wasn't adressed to mark the hours, but to show the astronomical information to the farmers. So the originality of the clock lies in its complicated astronomical sphere, that indicates the movement and the position of the celestial bodies in relation to Prague. It is the unique in the world that is capable of mesurating the babilonian hour, an important mesure of time for magic and alchemy.
Look for the huge crowd of tourists milling about in the Old Town Square and you will have found the Astronomical Clock, constructed in 1490.
So, what is so special about this clock on the Old Town Hall...well, it doesn't just tell time, it also 'relates the movement of the planets around earth and the sun and moon through the signs of the zodiac'.
Probably of more interest though to the onlookers is the show that occurs when the clock chimes on the hour each hour. There are mechanical Apostles that parade and a skeleton ringing a bell.
We happened past here on a few occasions just before the clock chimed, and enjoyed watching the spectators exclaiming and taking photos, and tried to spot pick-pockets, who are said to be rife around the clock.
The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall is one of the major sights. It was built around 1490 by the clockmaster Jan Ruze. It contains figures of the 12 apostles from early 15th century. They appear in the little topmost windows from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
In old town square, near the Jan Hus memorial, lies the Astronomical Clock. At the top of the hour (up till 8 p.m.) small windows open and wooden saints come out to dance around.
Take time to wonder at the craftsmanship of the Astronmical clock in Praha. Have a cup of coffee in one of the cafe's across the street and quite literally watch time go by !