A Difficult Reconstruction
The ceremonial reactivation of the repaired Astronomical Clock
on Old Town Square will signal the completion of the reconstruction of the entire Old Town City Hall
on the Old Town Square
in central Prague.
This event also coincides with the City Hall’s 680th anniversary
. The restoration work lasted for more than 18 months and required the expertise of a wide variety of professionals, including architects, preservationists, builders, material suppliers, restorers, and many others. The first stage of the Old Town City Hall reconstruction included securing the original stones in place, adding mesh security screens to the gallery windows, and polishing the gilded parts of the tower. In March, the face of the clock was put in place
, and the apostles were returned to their places inside the clock in August.
Greater Historical Accuracy
The restoration of the Old Town City Hall tower has returned it to its former glory, removing traces of damage from a fire on 8 May 1945 and subsequent botched repairs. Some of its parts look a bit different than what Czechs and tourists alike have gotten used to. For example, the tower clock again has gilded hands and numbers
, more in line with its original Baroque design than the white numbers which were in place for decades. The apostles will come out of a new door
made of blue stained glass; before its recent disassembly, the door was metal and put in place in the 1970s. The original forms of the astrolabe
and the calendar have been restored,
and the statue of the Madonna and Child at the corner of the building is precise copy of the original. The inner mechanics of the astronomical clock
have been restored as well: now driven by hemp ropes coiled on wooden drums, this is a faithful reproduction of the mechanics installed in the 19th century.
Ceremonial Reactivation of the Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square will be put into operation
on the Day of Czech Statehood, Friday 28 September at 6 pm
, when the apostles will emerge from their new stained glass windows on the hour. There will be an artistic projection
on the tower of the Old Town City Hall
at 8, 9, and 10 pm.