You can find the Old Town Hall right in the heart of old town Prague. You’ll know you’ve found it by the gathering crowds at the base of its gothic tower where every hour between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. the 12 Apostles appear on the astronomical clock. The appearance only lasts a moment, but the crowd will roar with applause for the amazing mechanical show. It’s made all the more impressive by the fact that this building was first established back in 1338 and served as the seat of the old town administration. Take a guided tour of its tower and underground areas for a small fee.
Crafted in 1410 by a clockmaker and a professor of mathematics, the Old Town Hall’s astronomical clock has been repaired and maintained for over 600 years, making it the third oldest clock in the world. The figures of the Apostles, which are shown in the two upper windows every hour, were added in 1865. The ancient “orloj” reveals Babylonian time, Old Bohemian time, German time and sidereal time, as well as sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon and the sun’s position in the zodiac.
When the clock strikes the hour, bells ring, the Walk of the Apostles begins, the Gothic sculptures move, a cock crows and a trumpeter blast sets off a tourist-pleasing show, a sight everyone should see at least once. For the most fanfare, catch the display at noon or at midnight.