One of Prague’s biggest visitor attractions, the ornate 15th-century astronomical clock is found on the southern side of Prague’s Gothic Old Town Hall. Gilded and complex in design, the clock was made by Czech master clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň in 1410 although it has been repeatedly restored and added to over the centuries. Its upper face shows the time and day of the week, the lower one reveals delicately painted signs of the zodiac. Every hour, on the hour, hundreds of tourists gather around the clock to witness the figure of Christ emerge from tiny trap doors above the upper dial of the clock, followed by a collection of wooden Apostles, to act out a mini-medieval morality tale, while the skeletal figure of Death strikes a bell, Greed counts out his money and Vanity worships his reflection.
The Old Town Hall itself was built in 1338 and is today a popular venue for Prague weddings as well as home of the city’s main tourist information center. Trips up its medieval tower reveal superb views of Old Town Square, the sinister twin spires of Baroque Týn church, and the bronze statue of medieval Czech reformer Jan Hus, which lies at the heart of the square. A series of palatial medieval halls are also open to the public.
The Astronomical Clock “performs” daily on the hour between 9am and 11pm in Prague’s Old Town Square.