One incredible, and one of the biggest attractions of Prague is dominating the Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti). Of course, it is an astronomical clock “Orloj”, which adorns the cathedral Lund and the City Hall Tower. For over the 600 years this watch, the Prague’s treasure, accurately measures hours, days, lunar phases, and determines a horoscope. In the Middle Ages, it was considered one of the world’s miracles.
Astronomical Clock “Orloj” shows sunrise and moonrise, counting the days, years, months and individual planets.
The Town Hall was built back in 1338 and at that time it was one of the most striking buildings in Prague. The oldest parts of the Astronomical Clock, the astronomical dial and the mechanical clock date back to 1410.
It is believed that the façade was decorated with Gothic elements in 1490 and the same year, the calendar was added.
In the seventeenth century, movable statues were added. Between 1865 and 1866, after the repair, the figures of 12 apostles are added, and they’ve started their few minutes long shows in every hour.
The skeleton, which measures time, is located on the side of the watch. He represents Death and pulls the ends of the funeral ring with one hand. With another hand, he is slowly moving towards the magnifying glass. In addition to the skeleton, you can also see a Turk who shakes his head, a miser looking into his gold bag, and a vain man looking in the mirror.
When you are already visiting Prague and you are already standing in the Old Square, in front of the astronomical clock, take the opportunity and climb to the top of its tower.
The ticket price is symbolic. Do not spare the money, because that sight of the whole of Prague in the palm of your hand, is worth every crown.
From there you can see Vltava river, city towers, bridges of Prague.
Right next to the astronomical clock there is a decorated late Gothic castle. It is the entrance to the city assembly which today serves for wedding ceremonies, cultural and social events.
The Legend of Astronomical Clock
If the clock is not maintained, the city will encounter a great accident. And another interesting legend of predicting clock is a legend about the prisoner who observed the square and an astronomical clock from his prison cell when he noticed a sparrow who had entered the mouth of a statue symbolizing death.
He thought that it was a sign that he would remain forever in his prison, but after a one hour the clock opened again and popped up the lost sparrow. Only after a few days of this event, the prisoner was released
Old Town Square – Staromestske namesti
The heart of the old town center, the most important and oldest market in Prague is Old Town Square, or, as the Czechs would say – Staromestske namesti.
In the Middle Ages, merchant travelers from all over the world came to this square and sold their goods. The square was built in the 12th century and features various architectural styles, from the Gothic towers of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn to the astronomical clock and the old townhouse. This is just a tiny part of what makes this square look wonderful.
Today this is one of the most visited and popular places among tourist. The various historical events were held on this square. The kings were elected, the royal weddings were held, but there were also executions. So, if you walk through this square, and at the moment you hear the sound of the royal horn, for a brief second you’ve probably wandered into the coronation of some king. The central part of the square is decorated with a monument to the reformer Jan Hus.
We hope that the time machine will not return you in his time since he was burned at the stake. Today, this square is decorated with beautiful souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants serving fabulous Czech hock dishes and beer.