Results 1-10of 16 Reviews
Prague, Czech Republic
November 18, 2009
London, United Kingdom
June 25, 2009
From journal A Fairytale City
NY, New York
July 29, 2007
The Astronomical clock is located in the Town Hall (Staromestska radnice). The town hall dates back to the 1300s, while the earliest astronomical clock on the site dates back to 1410. The clock was created by Master Hanus. As legend says, he was blinded by the town leaders with hot iron rods placed on his eyes so he would never make another beautiful clock for someone else. If this is how the reward people whose work they liked, imagine how they treated people they hated.
Every hour on the hour, the area around the clock fills up with people. Sometimes you are lucky if you can see a partial view of the clock. I had a love hate relationship with this clock. When we first got to Prague our tour guide took us to the bridge to take in the view. The guide then hurried us back stating we had to see the clock show. By the time we got to the clock the show had ended. The next day we arrived, the clock failed to work and by this time we though we would never see the clock in action. Later in the day we again past by it, and it was one minute to the show and we had given up that the clock would again fail. However, to our surprise the clock started up. When the minute hand hit 12 the skeleton like figure of death pulls on a rope that lifts the hourglass upside down. Then, Peter leads the apostles with the exception of Judas in a procession. When this finishes a cock crows and flaps his wings and the clock hits the hour. The whole thing lasts just a minute or two. The show itself is not very impressive.
The workmanship on the clock is a marvel to see. Actually, there are four figures on the bottom if you pay close attention. Close to the death figure on the right side is a man who admires himself in the mirror. On the left side is an old man who nods his head and a man with a sack. These figures are prejudicial in that they were though to represent the four threats to the city-Death, Vanity, a Turk, and the Jew. It sounds like Borats relatives lived here at one point. On the bottom are static figures that represent History, Philosophy, Astronomy, and Religion. The clock tells time in Roman, Gothic, and universal numbers. In addition, it is an astronomical clock in that it shows the movement of the planets and sun around the earth. It also shows the movements of the signs of the zodiac astrologically. The show is hourly from 8am to 8pm.
From journal Prague? Are you Sure This isn't Disneyland?
Queens, New York
July 23, 2007
From journal Prague
October 22, 2006
From journal Prague, the Pretty City
August 28, 2006
From journal Christmas in Prague
September 5, 2005
The townspeople then decided they would blind the artisan when the project was completed in order that he could not produce the same wonder anywhere else in the world. In the spirit of true Bohemia!
From journal Prague, Czech Republic
by Krys T
Somerset, United Kingdom
April 13, 2005
The Old Town Square itself is lovely - full of cafes - and when we were there, had an Easter market with egg-decorated trees and everything. We spent the odd happy hour eating and drinking in the sun here - chilly but lovely. Prices vary around the square - the Italian on the corner is actually cheaper for beer than the typical Pilsner places.
From journal Prague to Perfection
March 1, 2005
Tel: 420 2422 8456
From journal PRG
December 17, 2004
The Town Hall Clock is the focal point of the Old Town, and large crowds congregate hourly to see the clock "perform." This amazing mechanical artistry was built in 1490, and it is rumoured that the political masters blinded the creator to ensure that the clock was not created elsewhere. I’m not sure that I like that story, but it is fair to say that the clock is truly unique. On the hour, the figure of death tugs on a rope and then raises an hourglass to start the procession of the apostles (with the absence of Judas) led by St Peter. When the procession has completed its circuit, a cock crows, the clock strikes the hour, and the crowd applauds. I understood that part of the clock, but there is an additional feature of a complex astronomical clock and an elaborate mechanical calendar. It’s a great spectacle and a magnificent 500-year-old piece of workmanship. Below the clock is the entrance to the Town Hall, a superbly carved Gothic door set into an amazingly carved archway.
Directly in front of you, on the east side of the square, is the Church of Our Lady before Týn. This Gothic Church, with its fairy-castle type steeples, dominates the square and boasts an incredible solid gold effigy of the Virgin Mary. To the left of the church is the medieval House of the Stone Bell at the side of the impressively restored Golz-Kinský Palace, with its beautiful pink-and-white stucco facade augmented by elaborate statues flanking the roof.
The massive free-flowing Jan Hus Monument was created in 1915 to recognise the 500th anniversary of the burning at the stake of Hus, a religious reformer feared by his contemporaries. Opposite this impressive sculpture are the colourful houses, with their roof styles contesting for your attention. I reckon everyone is different, but if that is not enough, the majority of them have the added bonus of a fascinating house sign sculpted into the wall. There are such signs as "the ox," "stone ram," "blue star," "red fox" and the "golden unicorn;" most have a sign, but not all are easy to see.
I particularly liked the Art Nouveau building on the north side, with its highly decorated upper facade overseen on either side by proud statues with their arms aloft. Alongside that stands the Church of St Nicholas, with its green, domed roofs and impressive columns.
The square is a delight and a confusion of architectural designs. We all loved it.
From journal A hectic 5 days in Prague