On a visit to Oldtown Square in Prage, the astronomical clock is certainly the main attraction. Situated on the wall of Old Town Hall's southern tower, the clock is not meant to tell the time. Instead, the astronomical clock is supposed to show the course of the sun, the moon, and the astrological signs.
Between 9 am and 11 pm, you can watch vast numbers of tourists come together in front of the tower at the top of every hour. On the last stroke of the bell, the upper window opens, and a procession of wooden figures of the twelve apostles begins.
At the side of the 24-hour clock, you can see Death in form of a skeleton, striking a bell and pointing at an hourglass. It is supposed to show the vain and the usurers that their time has come. Their images in turn just shake their heads. As soon as the window closes, the crow of a rooster announces the end of the chime.
Prague's astronomical clock is at the centre of many legends, the most famous one being that of Master Hanus having his eyes poked out by the jealous town lords after finishing his masterpiece. It has been proven, however, that none of them are true.
In fact, the clock was designed by professor Jan Šindel in 1410, and built by the clocksmith Mikuláš z Kadaně. A number of paintings, figures, and features were added over the years. The apostles are first mentioned in 1860.
A number of restorations and renovations have been necessery over time, especially after the clock had been severely damaged during World War II. The latest refurbishment was finished in September 2018.
- Prague Astronomical Clock is the the best rated tourist attraction in the Czech Republic.
How to get there
Prague Astronomical Clock is is located on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall on Old Town Square, the central market square. The closest metro station is Staromestská.