Iconic clock sculpture returns to Prague's Florenc metro station

Though the original 40-year-old structure had degraded beyond repair, an exact replace produced by the city has now returned to Prague 8.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.01.2024 12:28:00 (updated on 07.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

An iconic 12-meter clock tower that stood at Prague's Florenc metro station for four decades has been restored to its former glory. Zdeněk Hřib, Prague's Deputy Mayor for Transport, drew attention to the recent renovation in a social media post.

The iconic sculpture, originally designed by academic sculptor Rudolf Svoboda in 1985, tells time in a number of ways. It includes a classic analogue clock near its tip and a world time board towards the base that displays time in ten world capitals, and even functions as a giant sundial.

In the summer of 2020, the clock had to be removed due to extensive corrosion. However, a complete replica of the steel structure was created and returned to its original location at the corner of Sokolovská and Ke Štvanici streets late last year.

The replica underwent various modern refurbishments, including the installation of modern electrical equipment for remote supervision and maintenance. The time indicators were also meticulously restored by Elektročas, the Prague-based company responsible for the original clock's world time board in the 1980s.

The refurbishment required the expertise of an experienced individual, as the technical designs for the clock's movements are no longer produced. As of 2024, the replica clock is now fully functional and remotely controlled by Technologie hlavního města Prahy, which manages Prague's public electrical infrastructure.

"Among more than 500 public clocks in Prague, this clock at Florenc is a rarity," Prague City councilor Michal Hroza said in a press release.

"It not only measures time, but is also a work of art in public space. As a distinctive landmark, it also serves as an orientation point and a place where people arranged to meet. I believe that the people of Prague will appreciate its return."

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The restoration process involved the locksmith company Kovo Lang, which crafted a faithful replica of the twelve-meter steel structure in their workshops in Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou. The clock's restoration also included modifications to prevent water collection at the base of the sculpture, increasing its longevity.

Hřib notes that the return of the clock tower after 3.5 years is one of several significant renovations and new features coming to the Florenc metro station and surrounding areas in the near future.

Reconstruction of the metro station is currently in progress at Florenc, and will include a new light installation that will adorn the metro lobby. A comprehensive revitalization of the entire vicinity around the Florenc bus station is also underway, and the nearby Negrelli Viaduct has also recently been renovated, with plans to turn the area into a cultural hub.

The return of the tower clock to Florenc marks a significant milestone for the developing area in the heart of Prague. The clock's restoration preserves the history and character of the public space, while also contributing to the area's transformation into a dignified gateway to the capital.

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