Prague Astronomical Clock (Prague Orloj)
Two residents of the city, Mikulas of Kadan and Jan Sindel, designed the astronomical clock—one of the best-preserved examples of medieval engineering in the world—in 1410. A third craftsman, Master Hanus, made later modifications.
The clock is made up of several intricate parts that do more than tell the time—with dials showing the days of the week, months of the year, signs of the zodiac, and the position of the sun and moon in the sky. Every hour, carved figures of the Apostles parade past two windows that open above the clock face, and the statues on both sides of the clock come to life. Many visitors combine a trip to see the clock with a visit inside the town hall and its viewing tower, or visit as part of a walking or bike tour of the city.
Recent reviews from experiences in Prague
Things to Know Before You Go
The clock performance happens every hour from 9am–11pm.
Look for the skeleton turning over his hourglass to signify the human life span.
The square gets very busy at performance times, so keep an eye on your belongings.
How to Get There
The Astronomical Clock is located in Old Town Square in the heart of Prague’s Old Town (Stare Mesto). The square itself is closed to traffic, although several tramlines run nearby, including lines 2, 17, and 18. The Staromestska metro station (line A) is a short walk away.
When to Get There
The clock is in a public square that is open to visitors year-round. People gather in large numbers to see the clock’s hourly performance, and the square is especially busy in the middle of the day, so plan your visit for the morning or evening hours for a more relaxed experience.
Old Town Square’s Painted Buildings
On your visit to the square, keep an eye out for the elaborately painted buildings, including the Storch House, a Renaissance building with a picture of St. Wenceslas (patron saint of Prague); the Minute House (next to the town hall) with an etched design depicting biblical stories; and the V. J. Rott building (which now houses the Hard Rock Café), with its elaborate art nouveau swirls.
- Things to do in Karlovy Vary
- Things to do in Cesky Krumlov
- Things to do in Passau
- Things to do in Linz
- Things to do in Wroclaw
- Things to do in Nuremberg
- Things to do in Vienna
- Things to do in Schwechat
- Things to do in Salzburg
- Things to do in Berlin
- Things to do in Bratislava
- Things to do in Munich
- Things to do in Bohemia
- Things to do in Upper Austria
- Things to do in Lower Austria
- Prague Old Town Square (Staromestské Námestí)
- Franz Kafka’s Birthplace (Expozice Franze Kafky)
- Prague City Gallery (GHMP)
- Paris Street (Parízská)
- Sex Machines Museum
- Apple Museum
- Estates Theatre (Stavovske Divadlo)
- Prague State Opera (Státní Opera)
- Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova Synagoga)
- Prague Wax Museum of Legends by Grévin (Musee Grévin)
- Prague Old Town (Staré Mesto)
- Jewish Museum (Zidovské Muzeum)
- Clementinum (Klementinum)
- The Prague Illusion
- Prague Jewish Quarter (Josefov)