Prague Quararti or Orel
Prague Couragents are the world’s oldest acting astronomical clock, a real masterpiece of Czech masters. They are located on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square in Prague. This watch is also called "Eagle" from the Latin "Horologium" – translates as "clock".
The mechanism that has recently turned 600 years has three main components. The first shows the position of the Sun and the Moon in the sky and other astronomical parameters. The second is a calendar. The third mechanism is the "course of 12 apostles", the mechanism of the movement of the figure 12 of the Apostles and a few more, most famous figurine of the skeleton, personifying death.
To understand the value and purpose of the presence of these figures, learn how to read the date and astronomical data on this watch, you need preparation and acquaintance with the history of the creation of Prague Quararents. If you are here with a tour with a knowledgeable guide, you will get a complete picture of the work hours. But we recommend not to risk and read our article to the end, we will tell about everything in detail.
How to get
The easiest way to get to the subway, go out at Stajestsk stations ("Staromestska") on a branch A (green). Look at the metro scheme on our page "Metro Prague – a scheme in our".
From the metro station to the Old Town Square, you need to walk about 500 meters on foot. Prague Quararants are located next to the Temple of the Virgin Mary before the tint, focus on the two high tower of the temple, they are not confused by anything.
Old Town Square can be reached by trams with numbers 2, 6, 14, 17, 18, 93, on buses with rooms 194 and 207. The most convenient of them is a bus 194, his old-fashioned one stop ("Staromestske Namesti") is located right next to the temple, 100 meters from Prague Quarants.
Convenient to take a taxi, but it is expensive. Read our article "Czech taxi – prices and how to catch". Take the taxi driver of the phrase "Old Loss", he will definitely understand the destination.
Cost of visiting
Clock can be viewed for free, for the entrance to the area of money yet do not take.
If desired, you can visit the Old Town Hall. Here you can see the historical halls (in the photo below, click on the photo to enlarge) and basements, climb to the viewing area. Prices Next, we indicate in Czech crowns, the current course can be viewed on our Czech Crown page.
– Normal ticket costs 250 Czech crowns.
– Preferential ticket for children from 6 to 15 years, elderly after 65 years, students – 150 kroons.
– More preferential ticket for children from 4 to 6 years old, disabled people, journalists, elderly after 75 years – 50 kroons.
– Family ticket for 2 adults and up to 4 children – 500 CZK.
– Tourist groups from 20 people – 160 crowns per person.
You can see Prague Quararti at any time of the day. But the most interesting action – the course of figures of 12 apostles passes every hour from 9-00 to 21-00.
Old Town Hall is open to visiting from 9-00 to 22-00 from Tuesday to Sunday. Monday from 11-00 to 22-00.
"Vintage watches – witnesses and judges" (a little history)
The history of Prague Couragents begins with 1338, when King Yang Luxembourg (he was by Yang Blind) granted a privilege to have a town hall. It was just the beginning of the "Golden Age" in the history of the Czech Republic, Yang Luxembourg was a very talented ruler and the father of Karl IV – the brief rule of the Czech Republic in the whole history.
Some kind of volklin, a merchant from stone, a house is bought, which is construed for the needs of the city council. In 1364, the Tower is attached to the house.
The first mention of the clock on the tower dates back to 1402, but it was ordinary hours. Probably, their prazhanam was not enough, and work begins on the second – astronomical clock. In 1410, Watchmaker Mikulas Masters Astronomical Dial and Mechanism.
The project is developed by Mathematics and Astronomer Jan Shindel. Sculptures of the dial decorate the students of Peterlery Peterlery. In the document dated October 9, 1410, the skill of Mikulas and a negligence attitude towards his work of the former caretaker for the clock of Alberta Master.
In 1490, an event occurs, which for several centuries it turns into oblivion the names of the first authors of the clock. Czech watchmakers Master Yang Rouju (Ganush) in 1490 repairs the design, adds a calendar dial and a death figure at the bottom. From that moment on, he was considered the author of the chimes.
Alois Yiraisek in the "old Czech legends", published in 1894, tells the legend of Ganush. According to her, the creator of the clock was blinded, so that he could not repeat his creation anywhere more. Assistant Jan Ruju, Yakub watched the mechanism until 1530. Pupils Yakub did not borrow, so the hours remained without proper supervision.
I have been engaged in the care of them from 1552 by Yang Tibar. It repairs, improves the clock, makes up their technical description, the author of Prague Quararents, he calls Yana Ruhzh. This error was fixed only in 1962 by Zdenek Mascus, Czech astronomer and historian.
In the period from 1629 to 1659, the Eagle moved the mechanism for the battle, earlier he stood on the top floor of the tower. Near the death figurines were put on other wall figurines, the moon rotation system is created, which shows its periods.
The eighteenth century became critical for hours: they did not work, besides, during the repair of the town hall they wanted to remove. Thanks to the efforts of Professor Antonina Strnade, the observatory manager, the repair of the chimes was funded by the state. With the master Simon Lanspersheger in 1791, the clock was subordinated (Astrolabia has not worked yet). Apostle figures are added.
Overhaul of the watch produced from 1865 to 1866. The accuracy of them controlled the chronometer created by Romuald Bozlek. Figurine of the rooster is added, and the calendar dial at the bottom paints Joseph Manes. The opening of the Kurats was held on August 18, 1866: the festival with Mesia complemented the parade of shooters, firefighters, concert with festivities. Who defeated his health, Manes could not come to the holiday.
Later it turned out that the painting of the artist does not withstand the influence of climate conditions. Original Manenes dial is transferred to Prague City Museum. Copy made by artist e.TO. Lishka, appeared on the clock in 1880. For her, they paid the author more than Manenes for his work.
World War II inflicted a huge damage to chimes. Anti-Nazi Uprising on May 5, 1945 in Prague led to serious battles with fascists. Germans, shooting from guns incendiary shells, wanted to destroy the rebel radio transmitter on the Tower of the Old Town Hall. Calendar Dial, Figures Apostles, Astronomical Dial falls. In the photo above one of the preserved photos of the town hall burning in 1945, click on the photo to increase.
Three years later, July 1, 1948, hours earned again: Rudolph and Jindrich Veslebi collect the mechanism, Loeth Suharda makes new figures of the apostles from a tree. Bugomir Chila constructs another copy of the calendar dial. The last major overhaul of the Eagle was produced in 2005, new parts in them only 1/4.
With a metropolitan magistrate, a board has been created from the best watchmakers who observe the hours of watch mechanism. Once a week its preventive inspection is held.
What to pay attention to
Let’s start our journey from the top construction – Astrolabia. In the Middle Ages, the building was decorated with elements that protect against unclean. So, on the cone-shaped roof "guards" there are two Vasilisk (one of their eyes turned into a stone all alive). The dome of the roof protects the rooster, and in the cock of the rooster there is an angel statue, on both sides of it in the windows 12 apostles are shown.
Top dial (in the photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge) is designed to show the movement of the sun and the moon, it also shows time. Minute arrows will not find only hour. Dial has several circles. A large circle with Arab numbers shows the time of Starochoe. Below is the diameter with Roman numbers – they demonstrate the Middle Eastern hour. To determine the time, look for a large gold-plated arrow in the form of a hand with a black tip.
Residents of Prague until the middle of the 20th century lived in Starochsky time: a day began with sunset. Therefore, the outer circle is spinning in two directions in relation to the dial. With the onset of half a day shot from guns.
Thanks to the recently appeared here, Roman numbers can, looking at the watch, learn real time. Small circle dial includes 12 Arab numbers written in light blue background. They symbolize the daytime and divided into sectors: with a number 1 posted "Ortus" (sunrise), with a number 2 – "Occasus" (Sunset). Night time of the planetary day is depicted on a dark blue background. On the light brown segment we see the inscription "AURORA" (dawn) and "Crepusculum" (twilight).
The blue circle in the center is indicated by the planet, around which the zodiac ring is moving. It demonstrates us the constellation in which the sun is at the moment. It is divided by a ring for 72 beam: they share months on days (the segment between the rays is 5 days). The arrow with the gold-plated sun determines the constellation, the arrow with a dark ball – periods of the moon.
Decorated dial with plenty of sculptures that are placed around its circumference. Here we will see a lion (defender of all animals), next to PSA (symbol of loyalty, vigilance). A neighbor of his sink with the Frigian cap, where the cap – means freedom, and the snake – sinfulness. This sculpture means cleansing and transformation from the snake in a person. Cat, another decor element – keeper of treasures, and more symbol of false, satellite magicians.
Image of mascars at the top of the dial should have scare away natural elements. Gorguli in the drainters are protected from excess moisture. Another image of the devil in the form of a beast with big eyes we find under the astrolabia. East and West dial decorate two figures: shapeless face and led. They are designed to protect against the dark forces. On the sides of the dial there are big statues: the soul, vanity (pride), death, turk.
Manese dial (on the photo on the left, click on the photo to enlarge) has two disks. Disk with gilding containing inside the coat of arms of Prague is constellations, copper disk – days a year. Pictures symbolize the cycle of the calendar: 12 sketches are 12 months (paintings of rural life in the Middle Ages).
Copper disk is divided into 365 days segments, indicating the name of the saint, revered on this day. Holidays Christians inscribed in a wide circle. The inscription of red is talking about the weekend. Decorated vine vine dial – symbol of joy and eternal life.
On the right of him, the sculptures of Phoenix birds and monkeys are placed. The first is a symbol of eternity, life cycle. The second is a symbol of sin, greed. Design "Keep" Master with apprentice. The side of the dial "settled" figures of the chronicler, Astronoma, Archangel Mikhail and Philosopher.
The course of 12 apostles is watching hourly. Some of them are not included in the gospel:. Barnabas and Paul, so the Czechs call them "loose studies", not apostles. Every hour is played by a big performance. In the upper part of the design are 12 apostles, they closes the progress of Christ.
Skeleton (death), turning over the hourglass, calls to the bell and inspired by Turku (hint at the approach of his death). He turns his head, denying. Clamps his wallet. His punishment Archangel Mikhail. And only the pride worries his appearance: it admits reflection in the mirror. Cock with his cry completes the scene, foreshadowing the battle of the chimes, knocking off every hour.
Tips Watching the Prague Chorans
– The course of 12 apostles will see every hour from 9:00 to 21:00. People on the square in this watch will be a lot, but the spectacle is worth. Take good places in advance. In the photo below, the example of a crowd watching the progress of the apostles, click on the photo to increase.
– Be careful and alert, pocket pockets can be trap in such a crowd. Pocket thefts among tourists often happen often, we wrote about it in the article "Dangeries for tourists in the Czech Republic".
– Take photos and video on the square can be paid for it. Do not forget to capture a camera or camcorder.
– On the right of the hour for sale tickets to the town hall. Visit her and you will be in love with Prague. To buy tickets it is better to prepare Czech crowns, read our article "How to change money in the Czech Republic".
– Going down on the stairs of the observation deck, pay attention to the photos telling the history of the Tower and Eagle.
– In the evening, on the square you can see the ideas of street artists.
– Not far from the clock is the restaurant "Staromestska Restaurace", which was recognized as the best in Prague. If you get hungry, do not miss the chance to try the best Czech dishes. Prices are high here, but it is worth it.
– Old Town Square is one of the public places in Prague, where the drinking of alcohol, even beer is prohibited. If you want to take a glass of "foam", go to one of the local cafes. So expensive but safe. Read the details in our review "Alcohol in the Czech Republic – prices and rules".
– Sitting in a cafe, nearby from the Kurats, slowly spend a few minutes near the ancient and unique Prague attractions. And although the proverb says that "happy hours are not observed", let the contemplation of Prague Quararants will make a haater.
We wish interesting walks in Prague, and read our interesting articles about the Czech Republic (Links below).
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Alexander – Glavred site
A very interesting comment made by user olia31ol. Read it on a separate page ‘Prague – Morning Walk’.