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Astronomical clock, PRAGUE, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 50° 05.218 E 014° 25.232
33U E 458546 N 5548461
Quick Description: Astronomical clock in Old Town Square ,Prague[Praha]
Location: Hlavní město Praha, Czechia
Date Posted: 1/25/2008 3:18:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM31FH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 388

Long Description:
The Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj (Czech: Pražský orloj, is a medieval astronomical clock located in Prague, The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square and is a popular tourist attraction.

The Orloj is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.
The oldest part of the Orloj, the mechanical clock and astronomical dial, dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadan and Jan Šindel, the latter a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The Prague Orloj was one of a number of complex astronomical clocks designed and constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries, soon after the invention of the mechanical clock. Other examples were built at Norwich, St Albans, Wells, Lund, Strasbourg, and Padua.

Later, presumably around 1490, the calendar dial was added and clock facade decorated with gothic sculptures.

In 1552 it was repaired by Jan Taborský, clockmaster of Orloj, who also wrote a report on the clock where he mentioned Hanuš as maker of the clock. This was a mistake, and was corrected during the 20th century.

The Orloj stopped working many times in the centuries after 1552, and was repaired many times. In the 17th century moving statues were added, and figures of the Apostles were added after major repair in 1865-1866.

The Orloj suffered heavy damage on May 7 and especially May 8, 1945, just hours before German capitulation in Prague was forced by the approaching Red Army, when Germans directed incendiary fire from several armored vehicles and an anti-aircraft gun to the south-west side of the Old Town Square in an effort to silence the provocative broadcasting initiated by the National Committee on May 5. The hall and nearby buildings burned along with the wooden sculptures on the Orloj and the calendar dial face made by Josef Mánes. The machinery was repaired, the wooden Apostles restored by Vojtech Sucharda, and the Orloj started working again in 1948, but only after significant effort.

There exists a good deal of misinformation relating to the construction of the Orloj. For a long time it was believed that the Orloj was constructed in 1490 by clockmaster Jan Ruže (also called Hanuš) and his assistant Jakub Cech. Another fictitious story involves the clockmaker Hanuš being blinded on the order of the Prague Councillors to prevent him from constructing another similar clock.
Status: Working

Display: Free Standing

Year built: 1/1/1410

Web link to additional info: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Photo of clock.
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