Thursday, June 06, 2013

On the Astronomical Clock Tower

The Old-Town Hall clock in Prague, also known as the Prague Orloj, is one of the most famous astronomical clock in the world. Basically, an astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets. The central portion was completed in 1410. The four figures are set in motion at the hour, with Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time. On the hour there is a presentation of statues of the Apostles at the doorways above the clock, with all twelve presented at noon. In 1870 a calendar display was added below the clock. During World War II the clock was nearly destroyed by Nazi fire. The townspeople are credited with heroic efforts in saving most of the parts. It was gradually renovated until 1948. In 1979 the clock was once more cleaned and renovated. According to local legend the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation is placed in jeopardy. - Wikipedia.

Now if that doesn't confuse you, wait till you see the real thing. I almost went crazy trying to read the Roman figures alone, let alone the tides, the moon, or the season... And I bought the pamphlet explaining the mechanism and how to read the clock, first published by the Prague Astronomical Society while I was there. But even that, I have yet to fully understand. Maybe it's just me, I'm kinda slow in that sense. LOL.

There are apostles coming out from the window above the clock on the hour, as the skeleton pull on the bell.

But if you are interested, you could actually pay to enter the town hall, to see the figurines inside the clock tower, which, actually, to be honest, isn't really worth it. But for a first timer, why not? LOL

1 Jujus:

Twilight Man said...

When the clock chimed, did the figurines dance??? I bet you did.