For more than 600 years, Staromestske Square in Prague’s Old Town has been watched over by a colorful mechanical Astronomical Clock that was once the envy of all of Europe. Built in 1410—and currently the third-oldest and only operating example of its kind in the world—the fascinating timepiece was first crafted with then state-of-the-art astronomical and calendar dials. Gothic sculptures, wooden Apostles, a zodiac ring, and other animated figures were added later. Among the many legends associated with the Orloji is one stating that the city would be cursed if the clock was not kept in good condition and that the ghost figure mounted at its top would nod its head to fulfil the prophecy. Leaving nothing to chance, the city has regularly renovated the clock throughout the centuries, most recently in 2017. Through it all, throngs have gathered in the square at the top of each hour, waiting to watch the procession of figures dance and spin in celebration of the passage of time.
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Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czechia
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