We staggered off the night train, blinking and yawning into the glaring heat of the Prague morning. Half seven and already 27 degrees. Not a good start for a vampire shade seeker like me.
First stop, we needed to ditch the bags so head straight to our hotel. The marvellous Louren Hotel, situated in Vinohrady which is in neighbourhood 2.
It’s not in the old town centre but a super simple ten minute journey from the centre on the green metro line. Just hop off at the Jiriho z Podebrad stop.
You can find out more about Louren hotel on their website.
I can heartily recommend it, marvellous service, lovely rooms and a great place to stay if you do not want to be right in the hectic centre of Prague.
Once unburdened we headed back into the old town centre to check out some of the awe inspiring architecture of Prague.
Arriving just before the hour in the old town square – Staroměstské náměstí – we were perfectly placed to see one of the main tourist sights, the Astronomical Clock striking the hour.
This beautiful piece of time keeping art dates from the 15th century.
The clock is intricately constructed, and each hour crowds of people gather to watch the procession of the Twelve Apostles.
Every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell in a grim nod to the passage of time.
Four figures flank the clock and these represent things that were despised at the time of the clock’s making. From left to right the first is vanity, represented by a figure admiring himself in a mirror.
Next, the miser holding a bag of gold represents greed. Across the clock stands Death, a skeleton that strikes the time upon the hour. Finally, the Turk represents pleasure and entertainment.
Below the Astronomical Clock are 12 medallions with the signs of the zodiac, added by Josef Manes in 1865.
Apparently the clock maker was blinded on the orders of the Prague council to make sure he could never make something so beautiful again. Nice.