I was just in Prague about two weeks ago, and yes...I stopped at the clock...which I thought was pretty cool. The "mechanics" was somewhat inspiring considering it was crafted in the 15th century...but its really not the mechanics that is impressive so much as considering the people behind the, current then, forces of technology. I found some of the "ethnic" representations on the clock pretty interesting...who/what groups considered good and saintly ...what groups considered lusty, greedy, etc. Material culture giving a glimpse of cultural relations in medieval times.
There were about 100-150 people there to see the skeleton rattle his keys. And I gotta confess...I picked up my digital camera with my finger on the zoom lens. Although I wasn't really aware of any "hysteria" on my part...and didn't really see or feel any around me. There may have been a greater degree of hysteria moving more onto the square...as there was a major "marathon" in town as well as another day of the international music festival playing out on the square. There may have even been more than tourists there as there was an open out door "free" concert going on. Or maybe only tourists are attracted by free music on a sunny Saturday afternoon?
I have to agree with Julie though. I found the architecture ALL OVER the city just magificent..unlike any othetr city I've seen. Not just a building here and there but many gorgeous streets, buildings, statues, windows, niches, carvings, bridges,etc. everywhere.
My one sister was "almost" pick-pocketed, but not when we were mesmerized by the clock...when we were about to step on a tram in a neighborhood that was away from all the main attractions. Despite this particular incident, I would go back.....and then maybe on to Slovakia [smile].
----- Original Message ----
From: J. Michutka <jmm@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 12:56:20 PM
Subject: [S-R] the clock, was Doulaj / Dulaj / Dulay
Wow, now great-grandma Doulaj's name is associated with Prague's
astronomical clock! If only it would lead me to her place of birth.
At 11:56 AM 5/29/2007, you wrote:
>"Mass hysteria under the clock"
Perhaps "mass mesmerization" for half an hour, followed by mass
hysteria at the striking?
I was in Prague last year for 48 hours (not enough time, can't wait
to go back). The clock is fascinating, the square is beautiful, and
it is probably the most tourist-y place I have ever been to (and I've
been to Disney World 3 times and Disney Land in Tokyo). Youth groups
pose themselves under the clock and chant (why?), pickpockets take
advantage of people staring zombie-like at the clock twenty minutes
before it strikes (again, why? it's not like we have to guess when it
will happen), and other than the churches, I can't imagine why any
native of Prague would bother coming to that beautiful square that
caters only to the tourist trade.
Go to Prague, go to the square and admire the beautiful buildings,
buy ice cream five minutes before the clock strikes and watch it
(watch your wallet, too), and then go see the rest of Prague. It is
the most beautiful city I've ever seen, I think because the entire
city appears to be architecturally beautiful, not just a beautiful
old center and less-lovely newer buildings outside that.
Stepping off my soapbox now,
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