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Discovering the Marvels of the Prague Astronomical Clock - Orloj in 2023

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

The Prague Astronomical Clock, commonly known as the Orloj, is a fascinating timepiece that is located in the heart of the Czech capital. It is one of the most popular sights in Prague, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

Astronomical Clock Prague City
Astronomical clock Prague City

History of the Prague Astronomical Clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock was first installed in 1410, making it one of the oldest clocks in the world. The clock was built by a team of skilled craftsmen, including clockmakers Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, and astronomer Jan Ondřejův.

The clock has undergone several renovations and modifications over the centuries, with the most recent one being completed in 2018. Despite these changes, the clock still retains its original charm and is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of its creators.

How Does the Prague Astronomical Clock Work?

The clock is composed of three main parts: the astronomical dial, the calendar dial, and the clock mechanism. The astronomical dial displays the position of the sun and moon in the sky, as well as the time of day. The calendar dial shows the date and the zodiac sign for that day.

The clock mechanism is operated by weights and gears, which are powered by gravity. The clock requires regular winding to keep it running, which is done manually by a skilled clock technician.

Direct view of Prague Astronomical Clock
Direct view of Prague Astronomical Clock

Visiting the Prague Astronomical Clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock is located in the Old Town Square, which is easily accessible by public transportation. Tourists can visit the clock and its adjacent tower, which offers stunning views of the city.

To reach the top of the tower, visitors must climb a steep staircase, which can be challenging for some. However, the view from the top is well worth the effort, and it offers an unforgettable panorama of the historic city.

Prague Astronomical Clock Tower
Astronomical Clock Tower Prague City

5 Frequently asked questions about Prague Astronomical Clock:

Question 1: What is the Prague Astronomical Clock and its significance?

Answer: The Prague Astronomical Clock is a medieval marvel located in Prague's Old Town Square. It's not just a clock but also a fascinating astronomical instrument. Its significance lies in its historical value and the intricate mechanisms that display astronomical information such as the positions of celestial bodies. A must-see attraction for visitors, the clock symbolizes the passing of time and the rich cultural heritage of Prague.

Question 2: How old is the Prague Astronomical Clock?

Answer: The Prague Astronomical Clock dates back over 600 years, with its origins tracing back to the 15th century. It is one of the oldest functioning astronomical clocks in the world, captivating visitors with its timeless beauty and precision.

Question 3: What is the legend behind the Prague Astronomical Clock?

Answer: According to legend, the clockmaker who created the Prague Astronomical Clock was highly regarded for his craftsmanship. The city officials, however, grew jealous and feared that he might replicate his masterpiece elsewhere. As a result, they blinded him, preventing him from creating another similar masterpiece. In a final act of revenge, the clockmaker damaged the clock, causing it to malfunction for several years. Eventually, it was repaired and restored to its former glory.

Question 4: How often does the Prague Astronomical Clock perform its famous show?

Answer: The Prague Astronomical Clock delights onlookers with its famous show every hour. As the clock strikes the hour, a parade of animated figurines, representing various aspects of life and the Christian faith, comes to life. It is a mesmerizing spectacle that draws crowds year-round.

Question 5: Can you climb the Prague Astronomical Clock Tower?

Answer: Yes, visitors have the opportunity to climb the Prague Astronomical Clock Tower. From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Prague's Old Town Square and the surrounding architectural wonders. It's a remarkable vantage point that allows you to appreciate the city's beauty from a unique perspective.

Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel and visit our website for more insights and tips about Prague's iconic landmarks! Explore the wonders of the Prague Astronomical Clock and uncover the secrets of this magnificent timepiece.


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