The clock was installed in the 15th century and was a technological, mechanical, and engineering marvel at the time. It simultaneously keeps several kinds of time- fairly accurately. The movement of its several hands over its complex series of numbers, rings, and arcs, give modern 24-hour time, old Bohemian time (counted in hours between sunrise and sunset), and track the phases of the sun and moon.
|Astronomical Clock Face|
|Astronomical Clock Crowd By Day|
By the time we left Prague, the clock itself was old hat for us, but we enjoyed watching the gathering crowds with craned necks every time we walked past the clock after the first day. We must have looked like that when we first arrived.
Hard to see, hard to hear, and not the big dog and pony show that everyone expects. Most people leave disappointed and angry at those long-ago clockmakers. Why couldn't they make a better show six hundred years ago?
It is a marvel and a must-see in Prague, but it's probably a once-see. It does have location on its side, sitting just around the corner from the fabulous Old Town Square...
|Astronomical Clock and Old Town Square|
If you make it to Prague, the clock will almost certainly be on your itinerary. Enjoy it for what it is, don't expect it to be a contemporary feat of entertainment. Imagine yourself as a Medieval peasant when you watch it. Or just count yourself lucky to be in such a great city.