Prague astronomical clock

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This emblematic astronomical clock was first installed in 1410 and it’s the oldest one still working in the World. It’s mounted on the southern wall of the Old Town City Hall and it’s composed of an astronomical dial which represents the position of the Moon and the Sun in the sky and in other celestial coordinates…

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

…, the “Walk of the Apostles” over it which shows the figures of the Apostles walking in circles each hour while a skeleton representing the Death moves a rope connected to the clock’s bell:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, there is a calendar dial with medallions representing the twelve months:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Detail of the dial. Photography by Carlos Dorce

Detail of the dial.
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The clock was made by the imperial clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and the professor Jan Šindel who taught mathematics and astronomy at Charles University in Prague in times of the Emperor Wenceslav IV of Bohemia (emperor from 1376 to 1419). Nowadays, all the people who visit Prague go to the clock to take pictures of it and to see the short Walk of the Apostles in the tower of the Old Town City Hall:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The clock has always been the centre of attraction of this great square as we can see from some ancient pictures. For example, here you have the clock in a drawing by Jan Josef Dietzler from 1743:

a01

View of the Old Town Hall, 1743

And this other picture also by Dietzler:

a03

View of the New Town Hall, 1743

From 1791 we have this picture by Kaspar Pluth:

a04

Coronation procession of Leopold II at Old Town Square in 1791

So in 1790 the new emperor decided to parade in front of this astronomical clock.

Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II (emperor from 1790 to 1792) Heinrich Füger (c.1790). National Gallery in Prague

Finally, we have this photography taken around 1870:

a02

View of the Old Town Hall, around 1870

Location: Prague astronomical clock (map)

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