Find One Of World’s Oldest Astronomical Clock In Prague!

Find One Of World’s Oldest Astronomical Clock In Prague!
| 3 min read

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is a beautiful historical city with an incredibly wide cultural heritage. You will be surprised by the multitude of cultural events going on all around the city.

Walking across its historical city centre (Old Town) you will get soon to its main square, a crowded and beautiful spot surrounded by churches, historical buildings and the old Astronomical Clock.

Admire the Astronomical Clock in Prague Old Town!

find one of world’s oldest astronomical clock in prague! | admire the astronomical clock in prague old town!

Located in the south facade of the Old Town City Hall, the Prague Astronomical Clock is one of world’s oldest astronomical clock that is still working.

Created by Master Hanus in 1410, there are many charming legends about its making. The most famous is a cruel story telling that Master Hanus was made blind by the city councilors, because they feared that he would build some other masterpiece like the Astronomical Clock for other European cities as well.

By a generic view of the clock you can see that it consists in two clock faces: the astronomical dial with its rings and the calendar of the months of the year.

During the 17th and 19th century, a complex of movable statues and Apostles wooden statues were added to the clock. The clock has been fixed many times, especially after the fire which took place in the City Hall in 1945, after a German raid during the Second World War.

Admire the complexity of the astronomical dial in the upper clock face

find one of world’s oldest astronomical clock in prague! | admire the complexity of the astronomical dial in the upper clock face

The clock in the picture is an astronomical dial with an illustration of the Earth.

The Gothic decorations are dated back to about 1490, and the moving statues are from the 17th century. At the centre of the clock, you can see a representation of the Earth. You can also find an illustration about the different layers of sky.

The first ring starting from the centre is the zodiacal ring that indicates the cycle of the 12 zodiacal signs during the year. The next rings are strictly related to the counting of hours: the Roman numbers are for the current Prague time, and the Arab numbers located in the external ring indicate the ancient time system of Bohemia.

The hour is given by the Sun hand while the moon hand indicates the lunar cycle.

Enjoy the statues and the clockwork hourly show

Orloj (Prague astronomical clock) in detail, Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Photo by user used under CC BY 2.0

In this part of the Prague Astronomical Clock you can admire a beautiful assemblage of statues and decorations.

The statues in the picture depict what was considered a bad behavior during ancient times in Prague. The complete group of statues consists in: “The Miser”, a man with a purse full of money, symbol of vice and avarice;“The Vain Man”, holding a mirror, symbol of human vanity; “The Turk “, a Turkish figure with a lute who represents pleasures in life, and “The Skeleton” holding an hourglass, symbolizing time, death and the unavoidability of faith.

In the picture above you can see “The Turk” and “The Skeleton” statues. Every hour “The Skeleton” rings the bell and the other figures shake their heads.

Find a beautiful Gothic-style month calendar in the lower clock

find one of world’s oldest astronomical clock in prague! | find a beautiful gothic-style month calendar in the lower clock

The face clock in picture is a copy of a painting by the Czech painter Josef Manes illustrating the 12 months of the year. The twelve medallions depict typical Bohemian rural scenes.

This masterpiece is surrounded by Gothic decorations and stunning statues. These statues symbolize the main subjects of knowledge: philosophy, astronomy, theology and mathematics.

As you can see in the picture, theology is represented by the statue of Archangel Michael with his spear, the man on the left reading a parchment represent the knowledge of mathematics.

Discover Prague’s historical heritage through its Astronomical Clock!

Exploring the Old Town in Prague its numerous alleys, buildings and churches will be an exciting experience during your trip in Prague. Don’t miss the Astronomical Clock tower and its fascinating clockwork show!

Every hour you can also admire the wooden statues of the Twelve Apostles being set in motion. The Apostles statues will appear in the higher window of the tower from 09.00 am until 09.00 pm!

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Meet Giuseppe, an Italian musician and avid traveler. Born in Sicily, he soaked in the rich history and breathtaking landscapes before moving to Rome at 17 to pursue Jazz music studies, culminating...Read more

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