The Astronomical Clock of Olomouc

Before my trip to Moravia, Czech Republic in May this year, I read up a bit about the places I’d be visiting.  Being keen on communist-era Socialist Realist art, I was very excited to read this on Wikipedia about the town of Olomouc:

‘The principal secular building is the town hall, completed in the 15th century. It has a tower 250 ft (76 m) high, adorned with an astronomical clock in an uncommon Socialist Realist style. The original 15th-century clock was destroyed at the end of World War II. It was reconstructed in 1947–1955 by Karel Svolinský, who used the government-approved style of the time, featuring proletarians rather than saints’.

And I was not disappointed – it’s extraordinary! Unfortunately it was raining most of the time we were in Olomouc, so my photos aren’t brilliant. But I was really impressed with this beautiful and interesting town.  I’ll put some more pictures up on a further post. I’ll also write about the designer of the clock, Karel Svolinský.  I didn’t realise I’d seen his work before until I found out that he’d designed some stamps that I have in my collection, showing Czech folk dress.

Another blogger has written about the clock and included videos of it in action – click here. There’s a clip of the opening sequence of the 1968 Czech New Wave film, ‘Žert’ (based on Milan Kundera’s first novel, ‘The Joke’, which is set in Moravia). I’m glad they’ve cleaned the pigeon droppings off the figures since then!

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2 Responses to The Astronomical Clock of Olomouc
  1. David King
    August 18, 2015 | 8:17 pm

    Wonderful! The rotating realistic (and idealistic) figures are beautiful.

    • Pamela
      August 18, 2015 | 8:29 pm

      So pleased you like those figures as much as I do…

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