Snapshot of Prague – Spring 2023

There’s a lot of support for the Ukraine in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague. Everywhere you go you see the flags and signs.

This central European country still has very strong memories of the time of the Russian occupation and the time of communism. Prague was the capital of a country once called Czechoslovakia. – which had been formed in 1918 after the Austria-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War One. 74 years later, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two nations – the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

Prague became the capital of the new Czech Republic – and has since become a major tourist destination. Prague features many cultural attractions that survived the destruction and violence of the 20th-century in Europe. Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square with its Prague astronomical clock are major drawcards. 

Something like 6-8 million people visit each year. It can become very busy. This video was shot in the less busy Spring – a “shoulder” part of the tourist season.

The astronomical clock by the old town square is probably the most famous site in Prague. Built in 1410, it’s the world’s oldest astronomical clock still in operation.  

It tells the time, shows the position and phases of the moon,  and all the planets in the Zodiac.

On either side of the clock are figures representing Vanity, Greed, Death and Lust.

And every hour, the passage of time is marked by the skeleton chiming a bell, plus a procession of mechanical apostles above in the tower.

If you arrive there early, it’s well worth going inside the tower. It was built as part of the town hall – a place where decisions about the city have been made for over 700 years.

But the climb to the tower is not to be missed.

It’s about 60 metres going up – via a gentle ramp except for the last bit – although you could take an elevator  

The tower was once Prague’s tallest building. The view is definitely worth the effort to get to the top.

Inside the tower you can see the mechanical apostles, waiting for their hourly performance, while the crowds begin to gather below.

The whole thing is over in less than 40 seconds….

And around the corner, the old town square continues to function as the public space it has been for all these centuries…. 

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