Old Town Hall & Astronomical Clock (Prague - Czechia)

Astronomical clock - Where have you seen one? How many have you seen? I've seen one in Greenwich Royal Observatory, London. But when I saw this in Prague - I was just too flabbergasted! The Clock Tower in Prague has an Astronomical Clock and its a part of the Old Town Hall. The clock is in public display, however to view its function, one has to get into the Old Town Hall guided tour. So, that's where we went first.



The first room of the Old Town Hall tour is ofcourse the Chapel of the Virgin Mary which has the interiors of the astronomical clock. So yeah, every tour starts 5 minutes before every hour and this is the first room of the tour and the first thing you see is how the astronomical clock functions from inside! Though it was originally built in 1481, this was renovated several times till 1857. The current statue at the altar is a new one after the original one was lost during the revolutions. In front of the altar are 2 neo-gothic wooden statues of St.Anne and St.Joseph of 1887. 

The clock - the fabulous astronomical clock dates back to 1410 and has been functioning till date! The wooden figures of the 12 apostles were re-carved in 1945 after damage. From here, you can see a perfect close-up of the wooden figures and as they move as the clock strikes every hour. 

The next huge room was the Municipal Hall followed by the Old Council hall. The Old Council has a wooden statue of Christ, the sufferer of 15th C CE and He's looking at Mayor's seat and the words 'Judge Justly, sons of man' as if telling the court to judge wisely. Sadly, the windows of this room also served as one of the defenestration windows (windows through with Protestent nobles, flung Catholic religious people that began the thrity years war in early 17th C CE)!
Next room is the Antechamber to Assembly Hall which is a fabulous door with inlay work dating back to 1619! Also here are 2 fabulous paintings by Vaclav Brozik. Next was the Brozik assembly hall. It was originally used for Prague Council, however now its used for official events under Mayor.
The next is the George Hall. This is really amusing because, Bohemian King George of the then Poděbrady (part of Czech) in 15th C, proposed a union among the other European Countries to protect them from Ottomon empire. But none responded positively! But then, today, they are the European Union indeed! To celebrate him, there is a sculpture of him the European Parliament in Brussels!

This room also has some amazing historic frescoes that's majorly gone. It looks like it was made when it was built in 12-14th C CE. Unfortunately we will never know who made it or when was it made because during the communist regime, one of the harsh things done to the people was to erase their history and they lost several books & documents from the town hall!!! Its for us to just see and perhaps in future, with scientific advancement or if other document about this was unearthed elsewhere, we will know!

Then came my favourite part of the building - the oldest part - the Romanseque cellars of 12th C CE. They were originally 2-6m underground. During 13th C CE, original ground floors became cellars. Originally there were more than 70 such houses under the current street! Today what we see is 2 of such houses maintained in almost its original state. A part of this also served as a execution area for death penalty criminals. Here are also some old weapons that served to kill people.
Next to this is the Gothic cellars. There are quite a few Gothic houses which are interconnected today for us to see. The original doors were so tiny & little, that kind-of served the purpose to making every visitor bow down to the host!

From here a lift is available to go atop the tower and the view from atop was indeed splendid. Then we were back down for the clock to strike the hour. Here's the thing - I was at a vantage point on the street, not too close, not too far away. I'm not too tall as well. Beside me were quite a few Asians who weren't tall either. All of us where ready with our cameras and phones in video mode. And suddenly, almost at the time, a very tall couple come and stand right in front of us blocking the view for quite a few! We had to re-shuffle in the last minute to get a decent view. When you visit, don't be that person!!! If you're blessed by nature/God with height, use it and stand behind shorter people!!!

To Stay: 
Hotel at all price points are available in Prague. 
Check out my review of Hotel Kinsky Garden where I stayed.

To Get There:
To the Ticket office from Prague Railway Station: 4km
On Google Maps: Old Town Hall

Entry Tickets & Timings:
Mon - 11AM - 10PM; Tue-Sun - 9AM - 10PM; 
Regular ticket: 250 CZK
Town Hall Pass: 350 CZK (incl. 2 tower climbs, and New Town Hall visit)
Can be bought online at their official website

My entire Prague travelogue: Street Art & Installations, Prague Castle, Old Town Hall & Astronomical Clock, Historic Centre of Prague, Vysehrad

P.S: I was invited to Old Town Hall & Tower by Prague Tourism Department to experience the monument for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

16 comments:

  1. Jane Dempster-SmithMarch 1, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    I did the exact same tour last year when I was in Prague. The Clock was still under repair outside but it was still interesting. The views from the tower were amazing. It is worth the tour when visiting Prague.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like how well you have explained all the different areas of the Town Hall. I was in Prague sometime in 1998 and somewhat remember visiting the astronomical clock, but nothing more. Saw a similar one in Bern a couple of years ago. One of my favourite activities to do in city is to visit the old town, so this is totally something up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this informative post, I think I need to go to Prague again. It's a shame because I lived there for one year and never been to the town hall. The tower view is awesome and the cellars were you favorite there so I bet it's worth visiting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Astronomical clock sounds interesting and I haven't seen one before. Your post about it are so detail as if I was there myself. By the way, those tall couple are rude. I can see myself told them to move to the back or wherever because we were there since minutes ago and wanted to see the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's incredible these places are in such good conditions. I still haven't been to Prague, but read many impressive things about this clock. I'm definitely adding this to the top of the list when I finally visit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is next on my bucket list. What a fun adventure. Beautiful pictures with explanations. I always love a blog that includes historical information about a destination.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I visited the Clock Tower in Prague years ago and really feel like going back in time when I read your blog. The Old Council hall is also a great building to see with all of its artifacts and Gothic architecture.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, thats some clock. The video was very helpful. It actually helped in understanding how the wooden figures move. I loved it. I really like the way how you explain these pretty places of history in detail, one at a time. Keep going. This is definitely on my list whenever I am in Prague.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my gosh, what an incredible structure and piece of art. I love the video, especially when you can see the apostles moving in the top. The colors and designs on the face of the clock are also stunning! Thanks for sharing, Bhushavali!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Prague is an old favorite of mine. I've spent a week there some years ago and would certainly love to go back. The astronomical clock is absolutely amazing. The clock displays time in different variations (Babylonian time, German time and Old Bohemian time)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't really seen one yet but I would love too. It would be really cool to see one up close. Thank you sharing your experience in Prague. Will make sure to check it out if we get to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved reading about this, as the astronomical clock was undergoing construction when I went to Prague last year so we weren't able to go in. I think the cellars would be my favorite part too - they look really cool, and the fact that executions used to take place there just makes it that much more unique (and a bit eerie!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Succinct and descriptive, Bhushavali.

    BTW, all clocks are astronomical 😊 I guess this one has the adjective because it displays the zodiac. Astounding that they had a mechanical clock as far back as the fifteenth century.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ahh I'd seen the one at Greenwich too in London! This brings back fond memories!! Have yet to visit Prague myself though and how cool that the clock still functions after all these years. I love the mini background you provide too. It's always so much easier to appreciate places once you know their history!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been there myself, and I was absolutely in awe. It's one of those places in Europe that you just need to see for yourself!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting...! Why not leave a comment.? And tell your friends..!!!
By commenting you accept to our GDPR Policy.