Prague City Hall Clock (Astronomical Clock): Info, History & Spectacle

Updated at  2. May 2023 from Burak
Prager Rathausuhr (Astronomische Uhr)

The Prague Town Hall Clock is also called the Apostle Clock or the Old Town Astronomical Clock.

It is located on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall.

It is one of the landmarks in Prague, an important cultural monument, and is considered a masterpiece of Gothic science and technology.

What Can I Do in Front of the Town Hall Clock?

In front of the town hall clock you can admire the spectacle of the impressive clock every hour on the hour.

After that, it is worth visiting the Old Town Hall, whose historical halls can be visited. It is also possible to climb the tower.

Guided tours can be booked.

Time of the Spectacle at the Town Hall Clock

Every hour on the hour, between 9:00 and 23:00, a small spectacle takes place at the town hall clock, lasting exactly 45 seconds.

Two windows of the clock open and the twelve apostles pass by while the Grim Reaper rings the death bell and holds up an hourglass with his other hand.

How Do I Get to the Town Hall Clock?

The Town Hall Clock is located at the Old Town Hall in the very center of Prague in the Old Town Square.

The Old Town Hall can be reached by Metro A, green line, Staroměstská stop, which means "Old Town" in German.

History of the Clock

The Prague Town Hall was built in 1338 in the Gothic style, its oldest part is the tower with an oriel chapel and the apostle clock.
One of the oldest parts of the clock is the mechanical movement with the astronomical dial, it dates back to 1410. It was finally completed towards the end of the 15th century by Magister Hanuš from Rosen.

Over the centuries, the clock had to be repaired several times, it was severely damaged during the Second World War, but it was put back into operation in 1948.

The clock has three hands, the sun hand, the moon hand, and a hand that indicates which sign of the zodiac the sun is currently in.

The lower round of the clock is divided into 365 steps and serves as a calendar, advancing one field every day.

The clock is decorated with various figures, the one of the Grim Reaper is particularly impressive. Every day on the hour a small spectacle takes place.

The legend tells that after the clock was finished, Master Hanuš had his eyes gouged out so that he could not create any other clocks of this kind. Thereupon, guided by the sound of the chime, Hanuš went once again to the clock and put his hand into the movement, which then stopped and could not be repaired for 100 years.

Today the clock is one of the most famous sights in Prague.

Contact

  • Address: Staroměstské nám. 1/3, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague
  • Public Transport: Metro line A, green line, Staroměstská stop.
  • Opening Hours: The exact opening hours can be found on the following website.

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