"You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute"

Uploaded 15 Jun 2019 — 3 favorites
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© Raje Esteban
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 15, 2019
TakenDecember 12, 2009
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D700
Exposure1/160 sec at f/18
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length28 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Prague’s medieval astronomical clock has been the main symbol of the city for over 600 years. It is one of the prettiest timepieces you’ll ever see and continues to amaze millions of tourists each year. It is surrounded with many historical buildings such as the St. Nicholas Church, Old Town City Hall, Church of Mother of God before Týn, and buildings of various architectural styles.

Many couples have their pre-wedding photos in front of the tower.

The Prague Astronomical Clock, also known as the Orloj, is one of the oldest functional astronomical clocks in the world. It is also a magnificent blend of mechanical engineering and art. It is like a medieval planetarium. “It tells the time, provides the date, shows astronomical and zodiacal information, and, best of all, provides some theatre for its viewers on the hour, every hour.”

Who built the astronomical clock in Prague?

Legend has it that in the Middle Ages, there was an experienced clockmaker named Jan Růže (also called Hanuš). He was selected by the city councilors to design and build an original device that would not only measure the time but also have a few other functionalities. Hanuš was so talented that he created the most beautiful and ornate clock in the world, one that perfectly measured time as well as the movement of celestial bodies.

To ensure that the clockmaker would never again recreate such an impressive treasure for anyone else, the councilors of Prague had him blinded. Enraged by the act, the blind clockmaker, together with his apprentice, climbed the tower and took revenge by breaking the mechanism so bad that no one could repair it. The clock then remained silent for over 100 years before the clock was brought to life again.

The Legend of Hanuš, however, is a historical mistake. The above events never really happened, and Hanuš only did some repairs/additions. The ‘real’ creator was the Imperial clock-producer Mikuláš of Kadaň. He devised the piece in 1410, helped by astronomer, university teacher, and priest Jan Sindel.

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