Prague astronomical clock

curse of the prague astronomical clock

As we know, many cities have iconic things that are unique and special. In this case, we are going to talk about Prague astronomical clock. It is the emblem of Prague and has a very curious operation. It was created in the year 1410 and they say they bring bad luck when it stops working.

In this article we are going to tell you how the Prague astronomical clock works and some of its stories.

Prague astronomical clock

prague astronomical clock

This is a must see if you are traveling to Prague. The city's astronomical clock is one of the main tourist attractions behind it, and it is no small thing. It has a compelling story (and tradition) that could well be adapted into a novel or movie. Introduced in 1410 by Jan Ruze, it has timed 605 years since then.

His story, as I was saying, has many incredible details: they blinded the master builder, preventing him from recreating a watch like this, which some see as a talisman to keep the city safe ... Today we put all our attention on its operation as the years go by and the technology continues to appeal to any analog watch and systems enthusiast.


disassemble the clock

The Prague Astronomical Clock features an astrolabe design with a three-part design capable of marking five moments simultaneously. At the top, between the two shutters, we have a puppet theater of the Twelve Apostles. Each one of them leaves every 60 minutes to indicate what time it is. The numbers are more modern than the clocks and dates from the XNUMXth century.

At the bottom we have a calendar with illustrations of the months and the seasons, also indicating the saints for each day of the year. Both parts are precious and of great artistic interest, but the jewel of this watch is in the central body. This piece was originally designed in 1410.

The watch is capable of telling the time in five different ways, and its system of mechanical parts is one of the most curious. On the one hand, we have the golden sun moving around the ecliptic circle, making an elliptical movement. This piece is capable of showing us three hours at a time: the position of the golden hands in Roman numerals indicates the time in Prague. As the hand crosses the gold line, it indicates the hours in uneven time, and finally, on the outer ring, the hours after sunrise according to Bohemian time.

Second, it is able to indicate the time between sunrise and sunset. In a system divided into twelve "hours." The system is located at the distance between the sun and the center of the sphere. The measurements vary according to the time of year, since the day is not twelve hours of light, nor is it twelve hours of night. The first is longer in summer and the opposite in winter. That is why the quotation marks are used to speak of hours on this central clock.

Third, on the outer edge of the clock, we write numbers in gold Schwabacher script. They are in charge of indicating the time, as we did in Bohemia. It begins to be marked at 1 in the afternoon. The ring moves throughout the year to coincide with solar time.

Important aspects of the Prague astronomical clock

Then we have the zodiac ring that is responsible for indicating the position of the sun on the ecliptic, which is the curve of the earth "moving" around the sun. If you are a fan of the zodiac, you will find that the order of these constellations is the opposite of clockwise, but there is a reason for this arrangement.

The order of the rings is due to the use of a stereoscopic projection of the plane of the ecliptic based on the North Pole. It may seem strange, but this arrangement also exists in other astronomical clocks.

Finally, we have a moon that shows the phases of our natural satellites. The movement is similar to a master watch, but much faster. As you can see, all the bumps on this astronomical clock are in this centrosome, no, we are not done yet, because there are still some singularities.

The watch consists of a fixed disc in the center and two independently operating rotating discs: the zodiac ring and the outer edge written in Schwabacher. In turn, it has three hands: the hand, the sun that crosses it from top to bottom, acting as a second hand, and the third, a hand with star points connected to the zodiac.

Curse of the clock

tales and legends

Legend has it that the carpenter who created it in 1410 did such an outstanding job that the people who commissioned it wanted to make sure he wouldn't repeat it to make it unique in the world, and they blinded him.

In revenge, got on the watch and stopped his mechanical device, at the same time, miraculously, his heart stopped beating. From then on, it was believed that the movement of its hands and the dancing of its numbers ensured the good development of the city, and that the clock stopped working would bring bad luck to Prague.

Punctually every hour, the intricate spectacle was screened in an attempt to calm the spirits of the couple during the months they were hiding behind the tarp, and it continued to amaze hundreds of people with its advanced mechanics. The immediate cause or coincidence is that the only time you did It was in 2002 when the Vltava River overflowed and the city suffered the biggest flood in its history. So when the January clock decided to cover the clock to repair it, there was a kind of panic (and disappointment from the visitors) among its more superstitious neighbors.

The watch has a circular calendar with medallions representing the months of the year; two spheres -the big one, in the middle-; an astronomical quadrant that was used to measure time in the Middle Ages (and that marks the time in Central Europe and Babylon, as well as the position of the stars) and whose colors each have a meaning: red is dawn and the sunset; the black, the night; and the blue, the day.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Prague astronomical clock and its characteristics.

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