Old Town Square – Prague Part II

Old Town Square in Prague is like stepping back in time about 700 years.  The city of Prague, is the capital of the Czech Republic.. Please go here to more about the city of Prague in Czech Republic.

View from the Tower of Old Town Square
View from the Tower of Old Town Square

Old Town Square is one of two main squares in Prague, Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square, and they are only a 5-minute walk apart. Both squares have ancient buildings and magnificent churches and are absolutely a must-see and easy to find.

The Old Town Square dates from the 12th century when it was the central marketplace of Prague. Over the centuries, buildings of many styles were built around the market. But the most spectacular site is the Old Astronomical Clock.

Old Astronomical Clock Tower
Old Astronomical Clock Tower
Close up of Clock
Close up of Clock

It is the centerpiece of the square and it is in the Old Town Hall Tower.  Every hour upon the hour, the windows open above the clock.  If you look above the clock you will see the images of the apostles rotating through the windows. The Astronomical Clock dates from the 15th century but it has been carefully maintained by the citizens of Prague to work properly. Below the clock are medallions with the signs of the zodiac.

Apostles in the Windows of the Old Town Astronomical Clock
Apostles in the Windows of the Old Town Astronomical Clock

What is an Astronomical Clock? Generally it means that the clock will show astronomical information and the time of day. It is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information such was the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations and sometimes major planets.

In front of the Old Town Hall is also a statue of religious reformer, Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415 for his beliefs. This is known as the Jan Hus Memorial, erected in 1915.

Memorial to Martyrs
Memorial to Martyrs

 

It’s possible to ascend to the top of the Clock Tower (either by stair or by elevator). There you have a bird’s eye view of the Tyn Church from the Old Town Hall Tower and the city beyond. If you don’t get dizzy, you can look down to view all the people in the square.

Tyn Church
Tyn Church

 

It’s rumored that Disney got inspiration for the Disneyland Castle from the design of the Tyn Church in Prague.

There are windows to view the city as you climb the stairs.

 

Old Town Square through a Window
Old Town Square through a Window

 

Cafes line the outskirts of the square where you can sit with a coffee or a brew and enjoy the sights and sounds. In the photo below, people are enjoying their drinks and ignoring the crowds around them who are drawn to the hourly clock show.

Cafes on the Old Town Square
Cafe on the Old Town Square during the top of the hour show.

 

Or take in the music of a roving minstrel! Note the sign in English..

Wandering Minstrel
Wandering Minstrel

 

 

 

2 Replies to “Old Town Square – Prague Part II”

  1. What a beautiful city, and beautiful pictures to match! The astronomical clock is such a treasure. It speaks very highly of the town that they have kept this clock working through the centuries. We take for granted our iPhone Astronomy Apps, but how marvelous to have celestial information available to the public in the 15th century. I wonder how they did it. (Perhaps a time traveler visited Prague back then and left his iPhone by mistake – oops sorry Phyllis.)

    1. Bob,

      I have been remiss in not responding to this great comment.
      My photography in 2016 was confined to USA (not a very big hardship). I have not been
      disappointed by that decision. But there is nothing like being able to see and spend a few
      days in a city like Prague that has endless treasures to explore. I hope you get a chance
      to get there.

      I was amazed at the Astronomical Clock, the intricacy of it. It must have been a treasure
      for the people of Prague to preserve it over all these years. It is notable that the city was
      not occupied or bombed or destroyed over all the world wars that have taken place there. That’s why
      it’s so well-preserved.

      Thanks so much for looking and commenting on my blogs. It makes all the difference!
      Phyllis

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