Friday, July 06, 2007

Highlights of Orloj; a classroom with a view

On almost every Prague guidebook cover, you'll see a shot of Orloj, the astronomical clock that adorns the Old Town Hall in Prague. It doesn't tell the time; it traverses the seasons. Every hour on the hour from eight in the morning to eight in the evening, a small morality play marks the hour. The crowds are amazing, and the show is brief.

Two interesting facts:
  1. The leaders of Prague blinded the man who created the astronomical clock so he could not replicate his incredible art elsewhere. To retaliate, he committed suicide by leaping into the mechanism that controls the clock. It didn't work for almost a century.
  2. The morality play used to include a Jew figure, complete with horns. After World War II, the city removed the horns; now the figure is "Greed."

On an unrelated note. These photos are of the building in which I attend class and the view from that room. Yes, the view includes a castle.

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