How was the Prague Astronomical Clock repaired? Unusual behind-the-scenes views through the eyes of Martin Frouze


Hands of the speaker traveling in the elevator. Sculptures hung on mattresses as if they were sleeping. Photographer Martin Frouz made many incredibly impressive and often surprising photos when repairing the astronomical clocks and towers of the old city hall. Come and see it behind the scenes. The exhibition is free until January 6, 2019.

On the second floor of the old town hall, a visitor opens a world that is only accessible to conservationists and restorers. Photographer Martin Frouz, who regularly documented the repair of the Old Town Hall tower and the Astronomical Clock, displays exhibits that allow him to look deeply behind the scenes.

The exclusive free exhibition has been extended and will continue until the beginning of next year, which is good news for all those who are going to Old Town Square during the Christmas period and during the Christmas holidays.

"I started taking photos shortly before the stickers started, and the last photos were created on September 28. That is, the day the repaired watch was opened," says a photographer who has been collaborating with conservationists and archaeologists for many years. gives lectures on the use of photography in professional areas. universities.

Martin Frouz himself admits that the Prague Astronomical Clock fascinated him. "I was originally a mechanical engineer (later a graduate of FAMU, note the red.) I like the watch as a machine and by the way, it's probably the oldest working mechanical device in the world," he says. "Even older mechanisms exist, but they are already part of the museum's exhibits," he explains.

According to him, some pieces are at least 1410 years old, when the first written mention appeared. "Since then, the device has worked, of course, with some slacks to date, and has been permanently maintained and repaired during this time," says the photographer. During the repair, specialists and restorers tried to return the astronomical form they had in the nineteenth century.

What was the most interesting thing about photographic work? "We go to the people who worked on the repairs, go through the workshops, communicate with them, each one has a history and a look, whether it's a restorer, a conservationist or a worker," says Martin Frouz.

While working with the camera, he often saw himself on scaffolding, even seventy feet high. He also had to deal with work in very confined spaces or with a narrow distance from the narrow scaffold.

"It's true that you sometimes stand on a scaffold at seventy meters, but I really do not know, I'm thinking about these things for fifteen or maybe more years, and I like it, it will not even come to me, and given spaces confined I bought an ultra wide-angle lens, "he explains.

Often enters situations where there is little space on the scaffold, there are only three people. If he wants to take pictures, he should also occasionally help conservationists or restorers, who otherwise would lose a job. "When I need it, I throw the camera on my back and maybe hold the device, so I take a picture," says Martin Frouz. "It will start to take you as one of yours, and you will not have to cross it much."

What do visitors to the exhibit say they should not dig? "Maybe the feel of the whole fix – I hope I have at least partly achieved, and then certainly a revived reality, thanks to which they can see the city hall before fixing all the possible parties," he says.

Simply scan your mobile QR code, download the application and then point the phone to the city hall plans. A realistic three-dimensional model of the building appears on the phone's screen, which can be viewed from various angles.

"In these 3D models, I work with geodettes, using photos of the floor, photos of drones and the so-called space sweep," he says. In addition, some of the known sculptures of the city hall tower and the astronomical clock, such as the legendary skeleton, are also visible in the three-dimensional model.

About the show

  • Martin Frouz: The renaissance of the tower of the old city hall
  • At where: Praesidium Gallery, 2nd floor of the old tower of the Town Hall
  • When: until January 6, 2019
  • Admission: for free


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