That’s true, the most famous clock in the world, Orloj, celebrates its 605. anniversary today! Prague’s Astronomical clock is without a doubt one of the extraordinary sights of the Czech capital, admired by millions of tourists every single year.
Astronomical Clock itself is an amazing magical place. Not only is this the oldest working clock in the world with much of the original mechanics from the 15th century, it is also unique for its location on a secular building.
Astronomical Clock, Orloj, Prague, The Czech Republic
Something from Orloj’s history
Orloj was designed by Imperial clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and was first installed on the Old Town Hall Tower already in 1402, however the first mention comes from the October 9, 1410, when it was completed.
In 1490 the clock was maintained by clockmaker Jan Růže, who improved the clock machine and added new calendar plate, and also the first movable statue – figure of Death.
Calendar plate, Astronomical Clock, Orloj, Prague, The Czech Republic
However over time the clock suffered even some bad times during its long life. At the end of the 18th century, when the town hall on which it is installed was under reconstruction, Orloj was supposed to be completely removed and destroyed.
Fortunately this never happened and later in the second half of the 19th century was finally reconstructed. Now you can see this old grandpa in its best condition ever, right in the most visited square in Prague – Old Town Square. So Happy birthday, Orloj! 🙂
Astronomical dial, Orloj, Prague, The Czech Republic
And who are these figures on Orloj?
You can find 4 pairs of wooden sculptures on Orloj. The upper 4 sculptures are movable, while these at the bottom are not.
Figure of Death and figure representing Lust (movable)
Movable figures representing Vanity (on the left) and Greed or Usury (on the right)
Sculptures of the Philosopher and Archangel Michael (not movable)
Sculptures of the Astronomer and the Chronicler (not movable)
And finally there are 12 apostles moving in the windows on Orloj’s upper part, between the statue of archangel and The Cockerel, who moves at the end and finishes the whole show.
Windows where 12 apostles move every hour with The Cockerel above them.
Orloj is not the only attraction of Prague, if you are coming to this city, you should also read another article about 45 Things to do in Prague – Best Places to Visit! and if you are not coming, you should read this as well, so that you know what you are missing. 🙂