The scientific tourist #39 — the Prague Orloj

This week’s picture is of the Prague Orloj — it’s an astronomical clock in Prague’s Old Town Square:

Prague astronomical clock (full view)

The original clock was built in 1410, although it’s been repaired and rebuilt and added to over the centuries (particularly after severe damage sustained in World War II). In its current form, it has three main parts (top to bottom):

  1. “The Walk of the Apostles,” a clockwork show (every hour, on the hour) of various moving sculptures in the two windows under the arch (a 19th century addition)
  2. The astronomical dial, showing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky along with other goodies.
  3. A calendar dial with medallions for the months.

The astronomical dial tends to receive a lot of attention — here’s a more-detailed shot:

Prague astronomical clock (close-up)

I won’t even attempt to explain this bit’s workings — I’ll just refer you to the Orloj’s Wikipedia entry, as well as an excellent online simulation of its workings.

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One Response to The scientific tourist #39 — the Prague Orloj

  1. Anita Prague says:

    It may seem funny, but on the Prague Orloj one can read almost anything BUT the time.

    The Sphere or clock dial shows most important astronomical events: movement of the sun (notice that the sun circles around the Earth and not the other way around), phases of the moon, the equinoxes, the seasons, the days and the zodiac.

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