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CZECH REPUBLIC: PRAGUE: ORLOJ CLOCK

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Czech/Nat While the toll of midnight may potentially throw the world's clocks and computers into chaos, there is one time piece which will definitely have no problem. The Orloj's (pronounced OR-loy) spectacular tolling of the hours on the Old Town Square in Prague is watched by thousands of tourists every day, making it one of Europe's most famous clocks. This is the heart of ``Magic Prague,'' the Old Town Square, magnet for the nearly four million tourists who visit Prague every year. And at the centre of the Square is the six hundred year old Orloj, the clock on the old town hall that draws the most sightseers. Each day at the top of the hour hundreds gather beneath the clock to watch the tolling of the hour. What is mundane on an ordinary clock is a magnificent display of medieval technology at work. Otakar Zamecnik (OHT-ahk-ar ZAH-mech-neek) is the Orlojnik, or the keeper of the Orloj. For nearly two decades he has been making weekly visits to the clock to make sure it doesn't miss the hour. He say that while the Y2K problem might throw other timepieces into a spin, the bug will definitely have no effect on the Orloj. SOUNDBITE: (Czech) ``The year two thousand definitely can not have any affect on the Orloj because it is not run by a computer. It has been here for six hundred years and can run for six hundred more.'' SUPERCAPTION: Otakar Zamecnik, Orlojnik It is the way it tolls the hour for the past 600 years that is so special. What happens inside might only be of interest to the expert horologist, but from the square below, it is a spectacle to behold. The twelve apostles each make an appearance, peeking out of two windows high above the crowd below. And below tiny figurines move and ring bells and the golden rooster crows. The show only lasts a few minutes, but it's a show that's been happening since the 14th century, and the crowd always seems pleased. And while Y2K bug may potentially throw air travel into chaos and set off nuclear missiles, in Prague on New Year's Eve, the Orloj will keep on ticking... You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/8fb85081ba9c3d8452717fc94c2b949a Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork
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Text Comments (3)
Performa (7 months ago)
A totally incredible and improbable work of art. That something so intricate and beautiful was built so long ago was maintained all these years, and then managed to survive dozens of wars (including 2 World Wars) is astounding. I'd love to see it in person someday!
mohammed nalwala (1 year ago)
I FEEL THAT BEFORE ANYBODY TRAVELS TO THIS PART OF EUROPE ONE SHOULD BE AWARE AND HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE VISITING PLACES WHICH WILL HELP ENJOYING EUROPE AT THE BEST
MNCM Productions (1 year ago)
Sanaa Sanitary Mohmd Nalwala WHY IN CAPITAL LETTERS

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