Old-Town Hall & Astronomical Clock, Prague

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Starometska radnice, Starometske namesti.

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  • Crowd gathering near the clock
    Crowd gathering near the clock
    by Jefie
  • Cloe-up view of the astronomical clock
    Cloe-up view of the astronomical clock
    by Jefie
  • Prague's Old Town Hall
    Prague's Old Town Hall
    by Jefie
  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Old Town - Old Town Hall

    by kris-t Written Nov 2, 2013

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    Old Town Hall
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    This 14th century building is the most famous at the Old Town Square. Its Gothic almost 70 meters high tower, built in 1364, is one of the most recognizable buildings in Prague.

    Originally the building served only as the city hall of the old town, but later became the city hall for all of Prague.

    It's also famous for its magnificent astronomical clock, the oldest such clock in Europe, built in 1410.

    Opening Hours
    INTERIOR:
    January - December
    Monday 11 - 18
    Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 18

    TOWER:
    January - December
    Monday 11 - 22
    Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 22

    Full Admission
    Adults - 100 KCz (USD 5.00)

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    Astronomical Clock, Prague, CZ

    by TrendsetterME Updated Oct 21, 2013

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    Astronomical Clock, Prague, CZ
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    One of the most touristic and historic spots in Prague, located just next to the Old Town Square. Its on the wall of the Old Town Hall and is a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures.

    The Apostles come out in a procession - this happens in the top part of the Orloj. When done they then go back inside. Once the windows close, a cockerel flaps and crows in an alcove and then the chimes of the hour can be heard.

    Its all the times a huge crowd of tourists there waiting for the "clock show" with the cameras to witness the clockwork ... :)

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    MAIN TOURIST OFFICE

    by balhannah Written Aug 1, 2013

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    Tourist information office

    The main Tourist Information Office is located in the Old Town Hall, in the pink building in my photo.
    The building is one of the five that make up the Old Town Hall. The outside has an ornamental window with Prague coat of arms and wording in Czech that says....'Prague, Capital of the Kingdom.'
    Inside it was quite busy. I just picked up some free pamphlets and booked for the Tower. Staff were helpful and friendly.

    The office is open from..
    daily from 9am to 7pm,
    Old Town Hall Tower is open on Mondays from 11am until 10pm and Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 10pm.

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    VOLFLIN OF KAMEN - OLD TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Updated Aug 1, 2013

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    Town Hall main entrance door
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    Volflin of Kamen, is one of the five houses that have been joined together to make the Old Town Hall. This gothic house was built at the end of the 13th century. In 1364, the 69.5 metre high Tower was added, and the astronomical clock was installed later again.

    One of the nice points of this building, was its entrance door.
    I must admit that I take notice of doors in very old building's. Why, you may ask - Because to me, they are often masterpieces! Often, they are beautifully carved, a work of art that is not seen around much today.
    This was such a door! It's a late Gothic door which has four Lion's heads, two of them have door knockers, and three ugly faces. Surrounding the door, looks to be fine stucco work, what-ever, it is magnificent!
    Next to the door, is a richly decorated window, beautiful decorations including animals. On the other side, is the Astronomical Clock.
    Make sure you take a close look, you will be surprised with what you find!

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE UNDERGROUND OF THE OLD TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Written Jul 30, 2013

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    Old Town Hall

    I didn't know this existed, so I thought I would write about it so you do!

    It's known as the Romanesque-Gothic underground of the Old Town Hall. Year's ago, the city level was several metres lower than today's level. As Prague flooded, the town was 'built up," meaning that the original ground floor's of houses became basements.
    The oldest part of the Old Town Hall's underground is the Roman hall from the 2nd half of the 12th century, there are wells and cistern's which were for rainwater. Two of the original Prison's can still be seen, you will find some names engraved on the portals,

    OPEN Monday 11.00 - 6pm, Tues - Sun 9.00- 6pm

    ADMISSION TO UNDERGROUND
    adult 50 Kè students and seniors 30 Kè

    LONG TOUR (historical halls, chapel, underground)
    adults 100 Kè children (6 - 15 years), students and seniors over 65 years 50 Kè
    children up to 6 years, disabled persons, journalists and seniors over 75 years 20 Kè
    family (2 adults + max. 4 children up to 15 years 210 Kè

    COMBINED ADMISSION (historical halls, underground, tower)
    Adults 160 Kè

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    VISIT THE OLD TOWN HALL TOWER

    by balhannah Updated Jul 30, 2013

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    View from the Old Tower
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    Want a bird's eye view of Prague, then I suggest you go up the Old Town Hall Tower.

    This massive tower is where in 1410, the astronomical clock was placed on its south side.
    During reconstruction of the tower’s interior in 1999, a lift was added, so you can either go up & down by lift, or walk the steps to the top of the Tower.
    From the top are fabulous views of the Old Town Square. I looked over the side to see people below looking like Ants, not for the feint--hearted! View's were far reaching, I even could see Petrin Hill and Prague Castle.
    What I liked were the information boards, not only with information on what I was looking at, but also a photo of the building making it easy for identification. For those that wanted a closer look, Telescopes were at the top!
    I couldn't stop taking photo's from here, it was wonderful!

    TOWER IS OPEN....
    January - December Monday 11 - 10PM Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 10PM

    ADMISSION
    ADULTS - 100 Kè
    CHILDREN (6 – 15 YEARS), STUDENTS AND SENIORS - 50 Kè
    CHILDREN UP TO 6 YEARS, DISABLED PERSONS, JOURNALISTS AND SENIORS OVER 75 YEARS - 20 Kè
    FAMILY (2 ADULTS, MAX. 4 CHILDREN UP TO 15 YEARS) - 210 Kè

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE OLD TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Written Jul 30, 2013

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    Old Town Hall
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    Time to check out the old Town Hall in Prague's Old Town Square.
    This is another building that stands out, as it has a 70 metre high tower which was built in 1364.

    It was in 1338, when King John of Luxembourg, granted Prague’s Old Town the right to establish its own administrative centre. The Town Hall was built the same year, starting with a gothic house that belonged to a wealthy merchant, then another three medieval buildings were acquired making a total of four that make up the Old Town Hall.

    Did you know "wine" was how money was raised to pay for this building? You see, a duty levy was put on the wine, this was collected and paid for the construction of the Town Hall.

    Many important events have taken place here, like the King of Bohemia being selected in the Town Hall in 1458. A bloody time was when the leading participants in a revolt were imprisoned here in 1621, later 27 were executed infront of the Town Hall.

    Weddings have been held at the Town Hall since 1871.

    Now, you can take a tour of the Town Hall and see the Council Hall with its joist ceiling and rich renaissance decoration, the assembly room and its mosaics dating from the 1930s, before visiting the Gothic chapel and seeing the inner workings of the 12 apostles who parade above the Astronomical Clock every hour. The tour is rounded off with a trip through the Romanesque and Gothic cellars beneath the building.

    The main entrance is to the left of the clock.

    TOURS OF OLD TOWN HALL HISTORIC ROOMS.
    Monday from 11am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm

    ADMISSION
    ADULTS - 100 Kè
    REDUCED ADMISSION...CHILDREN (6 – 15 YEARS) - 50 Kè
    STUDENTS AND SENIORS - 70 Kè
    CHILDREN UP TO 6 YEARS, DISABLED PERSONS, JOURNALISTS AND SENIORS OVER 75 YEARS - 20 Kè
    FAMILY (2 ADULTS, MAX. 4 CHILDREN UP TO 15 YEARS) - 210 Kè

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    See and hear Prague's most famous landmark

    by Jefie Written Jul 21, 2013

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    Cloe-up view of the astronomical clock
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    Prague's Old-Town Hall is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. Dating back to 1338, it features a 69.5-m-tall Gothic tower on which can be seen Prague's famous astronomical clock. The clock was added in 1410, which makes it the third oldest astonomical clock in the world and the oldest still in function. Several legends exist in connection with the clock, the most popular and persistent one being that orders were given by city officials to blind the clockmaker after it was completed so that he would never be able to produce such another clock for another city. It is indeed a wonderful piece of art and engineering, and it's quite a spectacle to be there on the hour (from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm) when the figures surrounding the clock are set in motion and dressed up characters sound the hour on trumpets; however, people who are not comfotable in crowds might not appreciate it since hundreds of people tend to gather on Old Town Square in time to see the clock in action.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Brave the crowds at the astronomical clock

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 12, 2013

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    Astronomical clock, Prague

    The astronomical clock is located just off the Main Square in the Old Town and is one of Prague's main tourist attractions. It should therefore come as no surprise that it can get VERY crowded just before the hour as people gather to watch the clock figures 'perform'.

    Several other VTers seem to have been so frustrated by the crowds that they have listed the astronomical clock under 'Tourist Traps', which is a shame, since it is a wonderful piece of engineering and well worth seeing. Some people also seem a little miffed that the 'show' is brief and not very spectacular, but perhaps we should remember that we are judging this against the frenetic standards of the 21st century where CG graphics are almost a standard expectation: to the average citizen in the 15th century (when it was built), it would have seemed utterly spectacular.

    The clock 'performs' on the hour every hour between 0900 and 2100. The obvious suggestion is therefore to go out of peak hours: I would suggest going early before the crowds are out and about, as the Main Square is a popular tourist hangout in the evening. It is also likely to be a little less crowded in the week than over weekends when Prague is inundated by the 'citybreak' contingent.

    Even better, try to go out of the season (summer and major public holidays such as Easter and Christmas) when I think that Prague is at its best - airfares and hotel prices will be lower and the city will be less crowded!

    For those interested in astronomical clocks, the only other one in the country is in the charming little university city of Olomouc, a couple of hours east of Prague by train. The facade of the Olomouc clock was rebuilt in a Socialist realist style after it was vandalised by retreating German troops at the end of World War II and is a fascinating piece of propaganda, with the saints' figures having been replaced by worthy Communist-era role models such as agricultural labourers and housewives! This brilliant clock is reason enough to visit Olomouc, and fortunately this lovely town (which is a little off the well-beaten tourist circuit of Prague - Cesky Krumlov - Kutna Hora) has lots more to offer the tourist - minus the crowds - and makes a marvellous counterpoint to Prague if you have a little more time to explore the Czech Republic.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Great views from the top of the Old Town Hall

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 12, 2013

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    View from the Old Town Hall, Prague
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    The views from the top of the Old Town Hall are wonderful and give you a lovely perspective on the fascinating 'roofscape' of the Old Town. From this vantage point, you realise how tightly packed the Old Town is, and what a teeming mass of humanity this must have been in the days when the Old Town was residential (don your thermals and try this just before Christmas when there is a Christmas market in the main square to see what I mean).

    This viewpoint also gives you a better view of the beautiful gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn. Unfortunately the facade of this church has been obscured by later buildings which were constructed immediately in front of the church, and usually all you can see are the iconic towers rising above the surrounding buildings.

    To state the obvious, you will not be the only person wanting to see the Old Town from this perspective, and the spectacular views mean that most visitors linger to try and get the perfect panoramic photos. Thus, as ever, it helps to visit out of peak hours (usually earlier is better than later) and ideally out of peak season so that you aren't crowded out.

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Old Town Hall Tower

    by GentleSpirit Written Mar 16, 2013

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    Old Town Hall Tower

    The tower was built for a merchants gothic house in 1338. Later on, what is now the Old Town Hall started to come together when various of the burgher houses were bought up and combined. Needless to say these were remodeled over time. When you are down on the ground you will see the trumpeter up in the tower. But you will also see some people waving. These people are tourists just like you.

    To visit you have the choice of going up the stairs or taking a modern elevator. Even if you take the stairs its not that far up. The tower is only 69 meters high.

    Hours:
    Monday 11-10pm
    Tuesday to Sunday- 9 am to 10 pm

    Admission-ADULTS - 100 Kč
    note- there is a combined admission for historical halls, underground and the tower, much more economical***

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  • geordieontour's Profile Photo

    found this little gem.

    by geordieontour Written Mar 16, 2013
    old town hall
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    After 5 visits to Prague, just found out you can visit inside both the town hall and the tower, with a lift inside , price was good as well, 160Kc each lots of history and English guides at 10:30am and 1:30 pm plus you get to see the inside of the clock.

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  • Twan's Profile Photo

    Old town hall and Astological clock

    by Twan Updated Aug 8, 2012

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    Astological clock
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    The astronomical clock of Prague (Czech: Staroměstský Orloj or Pražský Orloj) is a medieval astronomical clock in the center of the Czech Republic capital Prague. The watch is attached to the southern wall of the Old Town Hall on Old Town Square in the Old Town of Prague.

    It consists of three main parts.

    The first item in the middle, the astronomical dial displays the time and let the position of the sun and the moon.

    The clock shows five types of time:
    - The true local time in Prague;
    - The time measured in a distribution of 12 'hours' between sunrise and sunset, the 'unequal hours', they are from day to day longer or shorter, since the period between sunrise and sunset every day is different;
    - The time measured in a division of 24 hours which indicates how long the Sun is at the moment (24) of sunset, the so-called Bohemian or Italian hours;
    - The position of the sun in the zodiac;
    - The sidereal time.

    The movement consists of three independently rotating disks: hard disk in the middle, the outer ring and the zodiac. There are three pointers: the hand with the hand, the sun at that pointer slide back and forth, and the pointer with the asterisk, which is rigidly connected to the zodiac disc.

    According to legend, the creator of the clock in Prague, when it was finished, blinded so that he no longer such a movement could make for another city.

    The second part top the Parade of the Apostles. Every hour there are two small doors open and there will be a parade of apostles over.

    The third bottom part is a dial with medallions representing the months and how proposals for each day the saint is indicated.

    The oldest part of the movement dates from the early 15th century. The apostles are only added in 1865.

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  • Xeriss's Profile Photo

    Creative Clock Work

    by Xeriss Written Apr 16, 2012

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    Close up of part of the Astronomical Clock
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    The clock work may be seen every hour on the hour between 9am and 9pm. Lots of tourists normally gather in front of it before the clock strikes, however, it wasn't really crowded so we managed to get a really good spot. There are no costs or fees to view the Astronomical Clock. However, you will be asked to pay a fee if you'd like to access the Old Town Hall Tower, which is adjacent to the clock.

    Old Town Hall Tower opening hours:
    Monday - 11am to 5pm
    Tuesday to Sunday 9am - 5pm

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  • FruitLover's Profile Photo

    Prague Orloj (Czech: Pražský orloj)

    by FruitLover Written Oct 28, 2011

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    An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.

    The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the only one still working.

    The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock mechanism itself is composed of three main components:
    the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details;
    "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures—notably a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time;
    and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.

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