Snapshot: Prague Astronomical Clock tower

Crowds gather under Prague’s Astronomical Clocktower to watch the hourly show. As seen from the viewing deck at the top of the tower.


The clock tower, right on the Old Town Square, has attracted visitors for over 600 years. The mechanical performance of figurines around the clock face was considered a wonder of the world when it was first revealed in the Middle Ages.

According to our city walking tour guide, the hourly show was recently voted the second most disappointing tourist attraction in Europe. Oh, how the mighty fall from grace.

The clock tower also has quite the bloody history.

Legend has it that Master Hanus, the man who designed the beautiful clock, did such a good job that the council who commissioned him had him blinded so he could never create anything similar. In retaliation, Master Hanus had one of his apprentices take him to the clock tower so he could stop the clock from ever working again. Some say he gave orders on how to mess up the mechanisms. Others say he threw himself into the clock committing suicide. Either way, the town was unable to get the clock working for 100 years after that.

Read more legends about Prague’s Astronomical Clock tower here.


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