Places Around The Astronomical clock
The astronomical clock in Prague has kept time for over six centuries and continues to keep accurate time to the present day. The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall is one of the major sights of the city and many visitors mention it as one of the most outstanding things to see in Prague. It reveals the respectful regard that people of the past felt for the heavenly order.
It is amazing how a timepiece as complex as the astronomical clock is could be built in a time of relatively low technology. The clock shows three individual sets of data. It shows the revolutions of the Sun, the revolutions of the moon, and the revolutions of the stars. The clock is divided into red and blue halves representing day and night.
According to the latest researches, the astronomical clock was constructed in 1410 by the clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan in collaboration with Jan Ondrejuv called Sindel, professor of mathematics and astronomy of Prague Charles University.
The astrolabe mechanisms they have built over 600 years ago are still functional. 80 years later, the legendary master Hanus rebuild the clock and as legend has it, the Councillors had him blinded, so that he would not ever manage to build another instrument greater than the Orloj in Prague. The story also says that before he died, master Hanus deliberately damaged the clock so seriously, that nobody could ever fix it again. He also cursed the instrument, so those who tried to repair it have either gone mad or died.
Through its life the clock has undergone several renovations and repairs. In 1490, a calendar dial was added to the clock under the astrolabe on the clock face. Moving statues were added on the side of the dial and immobile statues were placed beside the calendar dial. From 1865-1866, the clock under went even more repairs. During this repair figures of the twelve apostles were added and a new calendar disc installation occurred.
The clock was severely damaged by Nazi fire during World War II. The Nazis completely burned the Town Hall and nearly totally destroyed the clock. Many people sacrificed their time and gave their handy-work to repair the clock to like-new condition. Moreover, sometime during a renovation, the clock was configured to show three time zones: Central European Time, Old Czech Time, and Babylonian time.
The Clock Tower is also decorated with exquisite coats of arms and different royal symbols. There is also a rooster that crows after the Apostles have finished their blessing. Thousands of tourists and visitors crowd into the Old Town Square in Prague to watch the Astronomical Clock strike the hour.
The Procession of Apostles delights the crowd as they one by one at small doors at the top of the wonderful clock. Two images stand on each side of the clock faces. These images are allegorical and represent vanity, greed, death, and lust. Greed and death are pictured here. The bones of the skeleton rattle as the clock strikes the hour.