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Old Town City Hall
This is the main sight in Old Town Square. The crowds gather each hour to watch its unique astronomical clock toll the hour, warning us everyone that they are an hour closer to death. Then they applaud. I loved it and never missed it myself when I was nearby.
Video - show on the Clock in Aug/Sep2011
For the 600 anniversary of the clock there was special video projection (video-mapping) created. It is presented on the Tower/clock. It is 10 minutes long and very spectacular- highly recommended.
Although it was intended to be shown just once, it was repeated on two more occasions. Now it was announced that on SATURDAYS evenings in August and September these video-projections will be presented. No evening time was announced yet, presumably it will be at 22:00 (or even several times during the evening?) as the darkness is essential for the effect - check with the tourist info services.
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
When you are walking around the Old Town Square and see a massive crowd gathering at one corner at 15 min before each hour, they are waiting for the Astronomical Clock to go off. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Prague, although not nearly the most impressive.
The clock goes off every hour on the hour and features astronomical movements and a procession of statues of the apostles. The show is very quick, so if you plan on taking video or pictures make sure you are in a good spot 10-15 minutes before the hour. Crowds gather quickly.
I found a nice history of the clock here:
- Arts and Culture
From the Charles Bridge, your next stop
The main square is the meeting point of too many people - tourists and internationals alike. From the Charles Bridge, I just followed the crowd because I knew that they will lead me to another main attraction. There are restaurants around the square (yes, you read that right - 'round the square). The street where shops that cater to higher class is just round the corner from the square but don't start your (window) shopping because you might miss the hourly show (do it after :)
The astronomical clock is known for an hourly show. Scuptures do a routine parade at the strike of the clock. I have yet to read the facts about the Old Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock.
Right after the amusing chiming of the clock, a Czech in a traditional costume appears at the top of the tower and blows his trumpet. Again, the performance is very brief but it is unforgettable because it draws everybody's attention and brings a touch of medieval time. After that, tourist groups disperse but the atmosphere remains very lively.
Old Town Hall Tower
This tower is built in 1338 and is one of the most striking building in town. Inside is a staircase and an elevator. You can climb or ride to the top to experience terrific view over the Old town square.
Today the Old town Hall hosts civic ceremonies in its many room, and also houses of Tourist Information Centre.
This beautiful clock is called Orloj in Prague and it is probably one of the most popular tourist attraction. It has three major components:
1.the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details
2.The Walk of the Apostles, a clock hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures
3.calendar dial with medallions representing the months
The oldest part of clock dates from 1410 and was made by clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan and Jan Sindel.
For me the most interesting is the four figures flanking the clock (are set in motion at the hour)
- Vanity figure admiring himself in a mirror
- Jew holding a bag of gold
- Death a skeleton that strikes the time upon the hour
- Turk wears the Turbon
The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock, built in to one side of the Old Town Hall Tower, dates from the 15th century.
To fully appreciate the clock's intricate construction, join the crowd in front of the tower to observe the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk.
A tourist magnet
Astronomical clock which is on the clock tower of the Old Town Hall, can be considered as a tourist magnet. Crowds gather to watch the skeleton ringing the bell and the parade of the apostles every hour. Try to be around the square close to the end of an hour and you can get a good spot to take some pictures or videos.
- Budget Travel
Be on time!
The Prague Astronomical Clock is located close to Old Town square and it is one of the city major actractions. The clock has been in the square since 1410 and it is a very special clock since it was used not only to indicate the current time, but also the month and the day of the year (and the name you should give to your kids depending on their birthdate), moon phases, zodiac information and much more. The clock also depicts different figures like vanity, death, a Jew and a Turc. Finally, at every hour, two doors open on the clock to show thhe 12 apostles and a man dresses as a pageboy plays a horn from the top of the clock tower. Make sure you are nearby the clock in time, the show is very fast!
- Castles and Palaces
The Orloj as they call is the center of attraction right at the old town of Prague. It is located on the corner wall of the old town city hall. The Orloj is a 15th century clock.
Notice the small statuettes on the sides of the circles.
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- Museum Visits
This beautiful decorated astronomical clock dates back to the early 15th century. The clock features figures of the 12 apostles, they appear every hour between 9am and 9pm. It also has figures of the skeleton, the miser & the profligate.
The astronomical clock shows the date in years, months, days and hours as well the rising & setting of the sun & moon. It also shows the signs of the zodiac.
Town Hall with astronomical clock
Prague’s Town Hall with astronomical clock I have seen lots of times from my friends, classmates’ photos, as it was always as approval that “I have been to Prague” and one of most attracting place in this city, especially then clock dings every hour with some mechanical turns of Apostles and other figures.
70 meters high tower was completed in 1364; it is a mix of gothic and renaissance styles. Nazis badly damaged the town hall construction in Second World War; some say it was specially “to leave something remarkably” (and of course, it is against international military law).
Clock was made here at beginning at 15th century. Legend tells, that clock maker was blinded, as city administration was against to see such nice examples of clocks in future, in other places. Recent clock is from second half of 16th century. Here is a calendar nearby it (from 1866).
Staromestska radnice a orloj
Old Town Hall became the seat of self-government of Old Town in 1338. Then there happened a lot of important things in czech history. After the battle in White Mountain, there were executed 27 men in front of the Hall (see the crosses on the pavement). There are many halls and corridors inside, which were built by many architects. Tourists can go upstairs to the tower and enjoy the view on Prague. The weddings have taken place in the Hall since 1871!
Orloj (Clock) is a big experience for everyone. Every hour there stand a crowd of people in front of the Hall and waiting for 1 or 2 minutes performance of the skeleton and 12 apostles going in two windows. Orloj shows three types of time - CET, old czech, babylon time and star time (sideral time). Bellow there is also the date.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
What may I say about the Astronomical Clock - Orloj - that hasn't been said on numerous tips here before?
By now, everybody knows that it was built in 1410 as an high-tech device since it shows not only the hours and minutes but also: placement of Sun and Moon in the Zodiac; Moon phase; Sunrise and Sunset times; length of astronomical night; time in Bohemian hour system. Also, it is of common knowledge that at the hour, there is a "ritual" which consists of: Death figure waves the sand clock, the 12 Apostles show, the Rooster sings and the Turk moves the head.
Prague legend's say that the king ordered that the artist who built the mechanism was made blind so that he was incapable of doing another masterpiece such as this one.
Old Town Hall
Built in 1338, the old town hall is in the center of the old square. You can climb the tower for a fee to get a great view over Prague. Also in the tower is an astronomical clock that puts on a show displaying the 12 apostles while death twinkles a bell.
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