The 600th Anniversary of Prague's Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock in Prague celebrated its 600th anniversary with a remarkable mapped animation on its face. The clock, called the Orloj, is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall. The Orloj has 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 animation on the clock tower brings the components and Prague's history to life:

The clock was constructed in 1410 by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, the latter a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The calendar dial was added in 1490 and clock facade was decorated with gothic sculptures.

In the 1600's moving statues were constructed. The Apostles were added in 1865.

The Orloj suffered heavy damage in May, 1945, during the Prague Uprising, when the Germans directed incendiary fire in an effort to silence the broadcasts calling for the uprising from Prague Radio. Nearby buildings burned along with the wooden sculptures on the Orloj and the calendar dial face. The machinery was repaired, the wooden Apostles restored, and the Orloj started working again in 1948.

The animation represents its functions and history.

LABELS: architecture, AstronomyHISTORY, , Science,

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