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Published: November 14th 2010
Old Town Clock
An astronomical clock, not what we expect when we say clock.
On the hour Old Town Clock performs. There is always a large crowd gathered to watch. Figures move, doors open, apostles pass in review, death rings a bell as time waits for no man and the rooster crows as the performance ends. It is always fascinating to watch. It is one of the top draws for all visitors to Prague. It is one of the must stops for all tour groups. Tour guide's umbrellas and flags can be see raised in the air as they attempt to keep their individual groups together and not lose too many tourists in the crowd. For the most part they seem to succeed.
The oldest part of the clock dates back to 1410. Wow, 600 years ago and still working, though a great amount of maintenance has been done through the years. It was badly damaged on May 7th and 8th, 1945 during the Prague uprising against the Nazi occupiers. The 600 hundredth anniversary of the clock was celebrated with a light show on October 9th, 2010. Think about it. That was 82 years before Columbus discovered the new world.
There is a legend that upon completion of the clock the clock
The astronomical clock
It is based on the earth being the center of the universe.
master, Jan Růe, was blinded by the city fathers so that no other city could hire him and have such a wonderful clock. I hope this is simply a legend and not true. The story also says that after being blinded he broke the clock and no one could repair it for over 100 years.
A computer model of the astronomical part of the clock, the Orloj , can be seen at:
Notice the sun moving back and forth with the seasons of the year.
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