The Prague Astronomical Orloj
The legend of the “damned” clock
✒ For this text thanks to @m_m_ariagrazia
The #Prague #astronomical #Clock symbol of the Czech capital city – is one of the best preserved examples of mediaeval clocks in the world.
It was built in 1410, designed by the master watchmaker Mikulas. It had been originally conceived to help #peasants in their job, because it was very important for them to know about seasonal changes and astral conjunctures.
The clock works thanks to a very complex mechanism. In addition to marking the normal #time of Prague, in fact, it can also determine the position of the Sun to the ecliptic, the Lunar phases and the ancient Bohemian time, distinguishable thanks to a series of Arabic numerals.
When the clock strikes the hour, the procession of the Twelve Apostles sets in motion, led by the Death, represented by a skeleton. Other figures then appear on the mechanism, such as the Turk, who shakes his head; the Vanity, admiring himself in a mirror; and the Miser, represented by an usurer. The parade ends with the crowing of a golden #cock and the tolling of the tower bell.
The famous centuries-old clock did not bring fortune to its creator, though. The legend goes that the people of Prague were terrified by the idea that such a beautiful and unique device could be reproduced in other European towns too. They thus decided to blind Mikulas in order to prevent him from building other clocks. The master watchmaker took thus revenge by damning forever the clock and anyone who would look at it, after which he committed suicide throwing himself off his own “creature”.
If you are planning to visit Prague… Think about Mikulas’s curse before looking at the Orloj 😜
If you know other fascinating myths and legends concerning cultural assets, share them with the community 😉
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