The Astronomical Clock show is considered by the vast majority of tourists to be the first must-see destination in Prague.
The oldest parts of the astronomical clock date back to 1410. The clock was made by clockmakers Mikulas of Kadan and Jan Sindel. Later, around 1490, the clock facade was decorated with gothic sculptures.
According to legend, the clock was constructed by a clockmaster Jan Ruze (also called Hanus) and his assistant Jakub Czech. The same legend has it that the author of the clock was blinded on the order of the Prague Councillors so that he could not make the copy in another city. And in turn, he broke down the clock and only in a few hundred centuries it was repaired.
In the 17th century animated figures were added, and figures of the Apostles were added in 1865-1866.
The four figures flanking the clock represent the following four things:
- Vanity, represented by a figure admiring himself in a mirror;
- a Jew holding a moneybag;
- a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) tolling the bell;
- a Turkish man shaking his head
The stationary calendar below the clock was added in 1870.
The cock suffered heavy damage on May 7, 1945 by the Germans’ incendiary fire and was restored in 1948.
Every hour the platform in front of the clock is filled with crowds of tourists attracted by that special and exciting show.
Every hour the skeleton starts tolling the bell, all the bells start ringing, the apostles appear in the windows, all the 12 apostles appear at noon. The show usually ends with the sound of the horn heard from the observation platform of the Hall Tower and applause of the crowd of tourists.
Right opposite the Astronomical Clock you can see several cafes offering very good but quite expensive beer (100 CZK per 0.3 litres). We snatched the opportunity to watch the clock show sitting in comfortable armchairs and sipping beer. Besides, I managed to do a photo shoot of The Prague Astronomical Clock from unusual angles and in unusual decoration.
Apart from the Astronomical Clock the Hall Tower is home to a tourist information centre. There is also an observation platform offering a spectacular view of the Tyn Church, the Old Town and the entire city of Prague.
In the “Photos of Prague” section you can enjoy photos taken on the observation platform of the Hall Tower and photos of the Prague Astronomical Clock.
We spent some more time walking around the Old Town Square and then made our way to the Jewish Quarter of Prague.