Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The communist clock of Olomouc

Information on this wonderful timepiece from Atlas Obscura:
The clock was originally built during the medieval era between 1419-1422, roughly a decade after its sister astronomical clock (Orloj) in Prague. In the original clock design religious and royal automata came out on the hour to chime the bells in a series of holy tones. But on May 7th 1945, in an act of pure malice, German troops opened fire on the clock, destroying the town's prized clock.
The clock stayed in ruins for a few years before artist Karel Svolinshy and his wife Maria began fixing it. On repairing the clock Svolinshy and his wife decided the religious and royal figures no longer made sense for the newly communistic country and the clock was redesigned and reconstructed in the then popular Social-Realism style. The only original part left after the reconstruction was the clock mechanism from 1898 which Konrad Schuster, the master clockmaker, repaired.
Upon completion the Olmouc clock had a very different look from its medieval sister clock in Prague. Instead of saints and kings, miniature proletarians such as labors, farmer, athletes and factory workers all toiled for the common good on the astronomical clock. Every figure is a "good communist," and at noon, tiny blacksmiths rung a set of bells in tunes based on local folk music.

No comments:

Post a Comment