Podcast
Ep3: Machine
January 01, 2020
In this episode, we pay a visit to the old man of Prague - the Prague Astronomical Clock. But there is a hitch. This clock is a clock just like an iPhone is a phone. It measures time, but it does so only by the way. For this machine was designed to show how the universe works - according to the knowledge of 1400. That means Earth in the middle, stars, moon and sun go around. It is astonishing that this geocentric model actually works until today and is nearly exact mock-up of the outer space. Excluding planets - these capricious creatures defied every theory and you won't find them on this "clock" either.

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1. Annex
It is a tiny annex, sticked to the city hall tower, that is a home of the Prague Astronomical Clock. Behind its thick walls, there is just a place for the machine (see the mark on the 2nd floor) and stairs from the low door on the street level. How economic!
2. Not just a clock (by far)
Yes, it is called "a clock". But measuring time is what this machine does "by the way". In 1400s, people still were waken up by the sun, just like the stone sleeper at the bottom. The main job of this technical marvel is mock-up of the motion of the space - of sun, moon and stars.
3. Inside out
Made before Christopher Columbus groundbreaking journeys (in fact it was made before his parents were even born), it is built inside-out and upside down. And yet it delivers - until today it is pretty accurate in tracking the space, which is quite impressive.
4. Apostles
The apostles parading in two little windows on the top of the hour are the main attraction of the clock. On the picture, Peter is holding a key to the Heaven. John the Evangelist has a cup with a snake - a reference to the apocryphal story in which John drank a cup of poison to prove the power of God. The apostles may be new (1947), but they are cool and look pretty gothic.
5. Little door
One word about the little door on the street level. Their emblem reveals a shape of the three big wheels - the heart of the clock. But that's not all. In the dead of night, when there is not so many people and noise around, it is not just about looking. Stick your ear to the little iron door and catch the sound of the oldest machine in the world still in operation. It is quite a treat!
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