Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Antara Bate

27 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

The Astronomical Clock at Prague Old Town Hall was made by Mikuláš of Kadaň and Professor Jan Šindel in 1410, with the calendar dial and gothic decorations presumed to have been added near the end of the century.

Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock history

The Old Town Hall Tower was constructed in 1338. In 1364 it was knocked into a private house adjoining it, which in turn was connected to houses beside that, and the amalgamation of buildings became known as the ‘Old Town Hall’.

The astronomical clock was placed at the front side of the tower in 1410. At the southern part of the tower a special stone chamber was built for its mechanical part. The astronomical clock consists of different parts – such as a calendar and an astronomical desk or the mechanism of twelve apostles which sets them in motion. The twelve signs of the zodiac under the clock were added by Josef Manes in 1865.

There are many legends surrounding the Astronomical Clock and throughout history, the name of its maker has been misquoted as a man named Hanuš. The clock has also been repaired and reconstructed on several occasions, including after the Prague Uprising in May 1945, when fighting severely damaged it.

Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock today

Today, visitors come on the hour, every hour to see its ornate display of a procession of the Twelve Apostles which is accompanied by the opening of a trap door through which a figure of Christ marches out and a representation of death tolls a bell.

Visitors can climb the Old Town Hall tower for beautiful views of Prague. Tickets to climb the Old Town Hall Tower are available from the ticket office at the base of the tower. Entrance also includes entry to the historical halls of the Old Town Hall, which have been recently renovated.

Civic ceremonies, including weddings, are held in the historical halls.

Getting to Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Prague Old Town Hall and Astronomical Cloak lies within Old Town Square which marks the beginning of the historic district of Prague. The nearest metro and tram station is Staroměstská.

Featured In

Czechia Historic Sites

Discover the best Historic Sites in the Czech Republic, from Austerlitz Battlefield to Prague Old Town Hall and the famous Astronomical Clock and more.