Most people overlook the inside of the Old Town Hall in Prague, preferring instead to view it from the outside and watch its world-famous Astronomical Clock chime every hour, on the hour. I don’t blame them if they are so caught up with the exterior that they forget to go inside (I nearly did!).
It is little wonder. The clock, dating from 1410, is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and is very beautiful indeed. It comprises 3 main features – an astronomical dial (showing the current position of the sun and moon and other astronomical features); The Walk of the Apostles – moving figures symbolic of Vanity, a Miser, Death, and Lust; and finally, a dial with a calendar on it showing the months of the year.
<< Read to the very bottom for exquisite photos of the view from the tower! >>
As beautiful as the Old Town Hall in Prague is to see from the outside, going inside completes the picture. Opt for a guided tour to get up close and see the inner workings of the clock (well, the moving figurines at least), as well as other grand rooms leading you from one building to the next (there are multiple that make up the overall Old Town Hall).
After visiting the special rooms of the interleading buildings of the Old Town Hall, you’ll visit the underground area to see how these buildings once developed. Floods were particularly prominent in the city during ancient times so residents decided to build their houses higher to avoid the flooding. The underground area together with its small doorways therefore serves as a reminder of the level of the city hundreds of years ago (and the height of the people too!).
Underground you’ll also see various objects of imprisonment since prisoners were once housed there in the darkness.
Moveover, after completion of the tour of underground and City Hall rooms, be sure to take the elevator to the top of the tower (or walk if you’re feeling up to it). Magnificent views of the city centre await you and you can even see Prague Castle on the hilltop on the other side of the river. Here are some of the wonderful perspectives you can get from the very top:
And here’s Prague Castle in the very distance: