Visitors to Prague in the next couple of weeks will miss out on what is arguably the best-loved tourist attraction in the city: The hourly “ringing” of the Prague Orloj. Built in 1410, this astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall Tower amuses hordes of people every day with its chimes and procession of apostles.
On Monday, April 4, the clock was closed down for repairs. Workers are redoing the walls inside the Old Town Hall Tower to prevent dampness which could damage the interior workings of the clock. While the tourist season is beginning to heat up, and the Easter holidays are quickly approaching, some have complained that the timing of the closure wasn’t exactly, well, timely. Unfortunately, workers say specific weather conditions are needed to do the sensitive work required on such an old building.
Legend has it that if the Orloj is stopped, some sort of tragedy will affect the Czech lands. Officials pooh-pooh the theory though, as the Clock was stopped for two months in 2005 and the country seemed to survive. Work is scheduled to be finished by April 22.
Photo courtesy of CzechTourism