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"Astronomical Clock" Astronomical Clock Tip by a5floor

Astronomical Clock, Prague: 163 reviews and 260 photos

  Astronomical Clock
by a5floor
  • Astronomical Clock - Prague
      Astronomical Clock
    by a5floor
  • Astronomical Clock - Prague
      Astronomical Clock
    by a5floor

Master Clockmaker Mikulas of Kadane made this clock in 1410. In 1490 it was improved in 1490 by a Master Hanus providing teh mechanical marvel you see today. The legend goes that after Hanus made the improvements, he got blind.

This is an explenation of how the clock works:

Four figures beside the clock represent the deepest civic anxieties of the 15th-century:

Vanity (with a mirror)
Greed (with his money bag)
Pagan Invasion (represented by a Turk)

The four figures below these are:


On the hour, Death rings a bell and inverts his hourglass. The 12 Apostles parade past the windows above the clock, nodding to the crowd.

On the left side are:

Paul (with a sword and a book)
Thomas (lance)
Jude (book)
Simon (saw)
Bartholomew (book)
Barnabas (parchment)

On the right side are:

Peter (with a key)
Matthew (axe)
John (snake)
Andrew (cross)
Philip (cross)
James (mallet)

At the end, a cock crows and the hour is rung.

On the upper face, the disk in the middle of the fixed part depicts the world known as time.

The hours of sunrise and sunset:

The gold suntraces a circle through the blue zone of the day, the brown zone of dusk in the west, the black disc of night and dawn in the east.

The sun-arm points to the hour (without any daylight-saving time adjustment).

The moon, witt its phases shown, also traces a path through the zoens of day and night. On the ring you can also read which houses of the zodiac the sun and moon are in. The hand with a little star at the end of it indicates sidereal (stellar) time.

The calendar-wheel beneath all this astronomical wizadry, with 12 seasonal scenes celebrating rural Bohemian life, is a duplicate of one painted in 1866 by the Czech Rvivalist Josef Manes.

Address: Old time square.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 8, 2009
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