Prague Astronomical Clock#12 in Best Things To Do in Prague
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Located in the Old Town Square, the Prague Astronomical Clock has been around since the 15th century, though it has required repairs many times over its history.
This clock doesn't display the time of day. Rather, it's meant to be used to determine the phases of the moon and the equinoxes. The clock uses depictions of symbols, such as a money bag representing greed, a figure looking at himself in a mirror to represent vanity and a skeleton to depict death. Each hour the clock shows a visualization of time unlike anything else in the world.
Recent visitors said that it's a marvel to take in, especially if you understand the more than 600 years of history it holds. Others say that its popularity makes it feel similar to a tourist trap. However, even those that felt the clock was overhyped conceded that it deserves a look, especially since you're likely to be in the Old Town Square at some point during your trip anyway. Several of the city's top tours make stops at the clock and can offer more historical context for the its significance. The Old Town Square area is accessible from the Staromestská metro stop.
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#1 Old Town Square (Staromestské námestí)
Old Town Square is a popular spot in Prague, with travelers flocking here in droves for its beautiful architecture, colorful history and vibrant atmosphere. The square hasn't changed much since it was established in the 12th century when it functioned as the city's original marketplace.
The square is home to some of the most historic attractions in the city, including the Old Town Hall, one of the best places to get a bird's-eye view of the city and the Prague Astronomical Clock, a beautiful timepiece dating back to the 1400s. Other architectural highlights found within the square include the Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, instantly recognizable for its two Gothic spires. Meanwhile, the newest additions to the square include a monument erected in 1915 for the religious reformer Jan Hus. There are also several restaurants here that spill out onto the square during the warmer months as locals and travelers alike enjoy a coffee or a beer on the patios. And if you're visiting during the holiday season, expect the square to be filled with Christmas market shoppers.
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