The Mostly Czech Issue

Because why not?

On This Day

1357: Construction on the Charles Bridge in Prague began. According to legend, King Charles IV assisted in placing the foundation stone. The Charles Bridge was the only way to cross the Vltava River until 1841, and the bridge still stands today. Repairs began in 2019, and are expected to take 20 years to complete.

1762: Catherine the Great assumed the Russian throne by overthrowing her husband Peter III. Her husband, Peter III, was a German who only took the throne in January of the same year. Catherine, also German, ruled Russia until 1796. The period of her rule is considered the Golden Age of Russia. (Russian-produced TV series Ekatarina depicts the rise of Catherine. As far as period dramas go, it’s quite well done.)

1947: The engagement between Princess Elizabeth of Britain and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced. They were married in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Princess Elizabeth ascended to the English throne in February 1952.

Morning Jam

While working on this issue I stumbled across this video of delta blues and jazz musicians playing on the Charles bridge.

Not So Trending

Prague Orloj, or the Prague Astronomical Clock, is the oldest still functional astronomical clock in the world. The clock was the third astronomical clock installed, and the only one of the first three that still functions today.

An astronomical clock is one in which astronomical data is displayed in addition to the date and time. Often astronomical clocks will include the moon phases, the current zodiac time, and the location of the sun and the moon in the sky itself.

The original mechanical clock and astronomical dial on the Prague Orloj were created in 1410. Around 1490 the calendar dial was added, and the facade was decorated.

The clock stopped working many times after it was first repaired in 1552, and over the centuries more adornments were added, including wooden statues, figures of the Apostles, and a golden figure of a crowing rooster (seen in a recess above the clock itself).

Like most of Europe during the 1940s, the Orloj suffered major damage at the hand of the Nazis. In 1945 during the Prague uprising, many wooden figures on the clock were damaged, as was the calendar dial face. After years of hard work, the clock and the wooden figures were restored. The clock began working again in 1948, but the mechanism was replaced with an electronic clock mechanism. This was removed in 2018 and replaced with a mechanical clock mechanism dating to the 1860s.

Quick Bites

  1. The Archbishopric of Prague has begun moving more than ten thousand historic texts from its private collection to the library in the Strahov Monastery to make them more accessible to the public.

  2. Quibi lost 90% of its users when their free trials expired. I’m not even remotely surprised as this company has been plagued with issues since the beginning.

  3. Prague recently had a giant dinner party on the Charles Bridge to celebrate the end of the pandemic. Thousands of residents gathered and were encouraged to share potluck style.

  4. The Ultimately Large Telescope sounds, ultimately, really freakin’ huge.

  5. The Council of Europe wants the Czech Republic to teach the history of the Roma in public schools.

Cover photo by Sergy Mind.