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Inspired by the legend of the Astronomical Clock in Prague, Cosmic Engine explores the architecture of time and space. And madness. The story of the clock provides a central emotional drama. The performance is structured into seven sections that conceptually follow the archetypal story of this legend, and explore themes of desire, fulfillment, possession and self-destruction. The ensemble features soprano voice, clarinet and bass clarinet, acoustic and electric guitar, cello, and surround-sound interactive electronics.

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Rate this tile I like it! Not a fan. Like what you saw? Create your lesson! It was possible to re-program the length of day and night every day in order to account for the changing lengths of day and night throughout the year, and it also featured five musician automata who automatically played music when moved by levers operated by a hidden camshaft attached to a water wheel.


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The Strasbourg Cathedral has housed three different astronomical clocks since the 14th century. The first clock was built between and and stopped working sometime at the beginning of the 16th century. A second clock was then built by Herlin, Conrad Dasypodius , the Habrecht brothers, and others, between and This clock stopped working in or as it apparently stopped working gradually, each component being disconnected one after the other.

This clock is housed in the case of the 2nd clock. It shows many astronomical and calendrical functions including what is thought to be the first complete mechanization of the part of the computus needed to compute Easter as well as several automata. It is also known as the Prague orloj. The central portion was completed in The four figures are set in motion at the hour, with Death represented by a skeleton striking the time.

On the hour there is a presentation of statues of the Apostles at the doorways above the clock, with all twelve presented at noon. In a calendar display was added below the clock along with decorative Gothic sculptures.

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The townspeople are credited with heroic efforts in saving most of the parts. It was gradually renovated until In the clock was once more cleaned and renovated. According to local legend the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation is placed in jeopardy. Olomouc , the former capital of Moravia in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, also has an impressive exterior astronomical clock on the main town square.

It is a rare example of a heliocentric astronomical clock. A legend dates its construction to the year ; however, in historic sources it is first mentioned in The clock was remodelled approximately once every century; in the astrolabe was replaced with a heliocentric model of the solar system. When the retreating Nazi German army passed through Olomouc in the final days of the war in May , they opened fire on the old astronomical clock, leaving only a few pieces that can now be seen in the local museum.

As a result of the serious damage the clock was reconstructed in the style of socialist-realism in the first years of communist rule in Czechoslovakia early s. The religious and royal figures were replaced with athletes, workers, farmers, scientists and other members of the proletariat, while the glockenspiel was altered to play three pieces of traditional local music.


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The astronomical clock has the shape of a stylized form of Our Lady of Sorrows , patron of Slovakia; it has been described as the largest wooden statue of Slovakia. The bells of the clock carry the names Sv. Juraj St. This astronomical clock is the only one in Slovakia. The astronomical part of the clock consists of an astrolabe displaying the astrological signs, positions of the Sun and Moon, and the lunar phases.

The clock is controlled by computer using DCF77 signals. The astronomical clock in Lund Cathedral in Sweden, Horologium mirabile Lundense was made around , probably by the clockmaker Nicolaus Lilienveld in Rostock. After it had been in storage since , it was restored and put back in place in Only the upper, astronomical part is original, while some of the other remaining medieval parts can be seen at the Cathedral museum.

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When it plays, one can hear In Dulci Jubilo from the smallest organ in the church, while seven wooden figures, representing the three magi and their servants, pass by. The clock stands 5. Seventy dials provide indications including seconds, hours, days and years. The clock is perpetual and can register up to 10, years, including adjustments for leap year cycles.


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It is 12 metres high, 6 metres wide, and contains over 90, individual parts. It has 52 dials that display the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, the phases of the moon, the solstices, the position of the planets, the current time in 18 cities around the world, and the tidal hours. The clock has a case that blends Romanesque and Byzantine styles and is crowned by a multi-tiered Celestial City with 68 automata that animate, at the striking of each hour, to enact the Last Judgement.

The city hall in Copenhagen has a complete astronomical clock , set in an interior glass cabinet.

The clock was designed over a period of 50 years by amateur astronomer and professional clockmaker Jens Olsen. Some of the components such as the computus were inspired by the Strasbourg clock, which was studied by Olsen. It was assembled from to Features include locations of the sun and moon in the zodiac, Julian calendar , Gregorian calendar , sidereal time , GMT, local time with daylight saving time and leap year, solar and lunar cycle corrections, eclipses, local sunset and sunrise, moonphase, tides, sunspot cycles and a planetarium including Pluto 's year orbit and the 25 year period of the polar ecliptics precession of the Earth's axis.

All wheels are in brass and gold-plated. Dials are silver-plated. This remarkable timepiece will probably be the last one ever to be designed and made by hand by one single person as true craftsmanship and a work of art. Having been exhibited at the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois, and at The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the clock was sold in and its current location is not known. There are many examples of astronomical table clocks, due to their popularity as showpieces.

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To become a master clockmaker in 17th-century Augsburg , candidates had to design and build a 'masterpiece' clock, an astronomical table-top clock of formidable complexity. Examples can be found in museums, such as London's British Museum. Currently Edmund Scientific among other retailers offer a mechanical Tellurium clock, perhaps the first mechanical astronomical clock to be mass marketed. In Japan, Tanaka Hisashige made a Myriad year clock in Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium Galileo Galilei.

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Although each astronomical clock is different, they share some common features. The current time is indicated by a golden ball or a picture of the sun at the end of a pointer. Local noon is usually at the top of the dial, and midnight at the bottom.