Great Bells of Europe
by country

Here are listed 122 existing and 4 former great bells of Europe, in countries for which the numbers of such bells are relatively low.  They are grouped by country, and then shown in descending order by weight.  The list includes qualifying bass bells of carillons, chimes, zvons, peals, etc., and is believed to include all bells heavier than 14000kg.

Not yet included are some other great bells of France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain weighing between 4000 and 14000 kg.  Separately listed (and sequenced) are the great bells of the British Isles and the great bells of Russia.  Separately listed but not separately sequenced are the great bells of Germany, bearing the 41 sequence numbers which are not included below.

Following the list are some References to related information about the data found here.

A regional locator map includes most of these great bells, whether independent or contained in some instrument.


Key:

nr.   City, County, Country - EquivalentWeight lbs

"nr" is the sequence number of each bell in the matching table of all European bells by weight.  Bells of the same (estimated) weight share a sequence number, and are distinguished by a capital letter appended to it (e.g., 55A, 55B).


Countries included (with number of listed bells), in order by the heaviest bell of each:   Italy (5),   Austria (8),   Portugal (4) & France (23),   Estonia (1),   Poland (6),   Spain (6),   Czech Republic (1),   Greece (1),   Bulgaria (1),   Vatican (1),   Malta (8),   Switzerland (7),   Netherlands (26),   Hungary (1),   Belgium (18),   Finland (1) & Ukraine (2),   Luxembourg (3),   Belarus (1)  


Bells in italics no longer exist, and are not mapped.  (Prior versions of recast bells may or may not be separately listed.)  

Italy

3.  Rovereto, Italy - 49910 lbs

8.   Bruneck/Brunico, Italy - ~39900 lbs

21.   Messina, Sicily, Italy - ~29100 lbs

59.   Milano (Milan), Italy - ~19000 lbs

75.   Catania, Sicilia (Sicily), Italy - 16790 lbs

 

Austria

4.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 44383 lbs

14.   Salzburg, Austria - 31429 lbs

36.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 22930 lbs

38.   Mösern, Tirol, Austria - 22443 lbs

54.   Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria - 19950 lbs

61.   Salzburg, Austria - 18239 lbs

80.   Innsbruck, Austria - 15803 lbs

116A.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 12566 lbs

 

Portugal

5.   Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal - ~44000 lbs

32B.   Mafra, Portugal - ~23100 lbs

48.   Mafra, Portugal - ~21253 lbs

55.   Mafra, Portugal - ~19900 lbs

 

France

6.   Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France - ~44000 lbs

7.   Paris, France - 41524 lbs

9.   Sens, Yonne, France - 35780 lbs

16.   Sens, Yonne, France - 30115 lbs

20.   Paris, France - 29258 lbs

32C.   Metz, Moselle, France - ~23100 lbs

35.   Reims, Marne, France - ~22950 lbs

42.   Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France - ~22000 lbs

45.   Auch, Gers (Pays d'Oc), France - 21495 lbs

51.   Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France - ~20940 lbs

56.   Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France - ~19600 lbs

72.   Bordeaux, County, France - 17200 lbs

73.   Lyon, Rhône, France - ~16976 lbs

83.  Dunkerque (Dunkirk), Nord, France - ~15500 lbs

100.   Avignon, Vaucluse, France - 10250 lbs

107.   Paris, France - 29258 lbs

119.   Tourcoing, Nord, France - ~15500 lbs

127A.   Douai, Nord, France - ~12000 lbs

130A.   Chambéry, Savoie, France - ~12000 lbs

134.   Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France - ~11900 lbs

139.   Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France - 11650 lbs

142.   Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France - ~11000 lbs

143.   Perpignan, Pyrénées Orientales, France - <11000 lbs

148.   Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, Nord, France - 10250 lbs

150.   Bergues, Nord, France - 10115 lbs

 

Estonia

10.   Tallinn, Estonia - 34315 lbs

 

Poland

11.   Stary Lichen (or Lichen Stary), Konin, Poland - ~33000 lbs

25.   Stary Lichen (or Licheń Stary), Konin, Poland - ~25600 lbs

47.   Kracow (Cracow), Poland - ~24200 lbs

108D.   Toruń (Torun), Poland - ~13200 lbs

108E.   Kracow (Cracow), Poland - ~13200 lbs

121B.   Stary Lichen (or Licheń Stary), Konin, Poland - ~12345 lbs

 

Spain

13.   Toledo, Spain - ~32100 lbs

41.   Pamplona, Spain - ~22200 lbs

76.   Valencia, Valenciana, Spain - ~16570 lbs

86.   Santiago de Compostela, Spain - 14683 lbs

88.   Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain - 13693 lbs

136.   Seville, Spain - ~11800 lbs

 

Czech Republic
(formerly part of Czechoslovakia)

18.   Praha (Prague), Czechslovakia - ~29760 lbs

 

Greece

22.   Mount Athos - ~28600 lbs

 

Bulgaria

23.   Sofia, Bulgaria - ~24200 lbs

 

Vaticano

29A.   Vaticano (Vatican City) - ~24200 lbs

 

Malta

A 2014 article on bells of Malta includes some information about Maltese great bells.

A collection of videos of bell ringing in Malta

31.   Valletta, Malta - 24027 lbs

NOTE:   Maltese stationary peals are rung by hand using a technique somewhat similar to that used for very large bells in Russian zvons.  But unlike the zvon, these stationary peals are tuned to a major triad.  A loose rope is used to get the clapper swinging back and forth between opposite sides of the bell, and the strength of the pull determines whether the clapper strikes or only approaches the bell.  Beginning with a small bell, ringing starts at long intervals which are gradually shortened; more bells are added one by one until eventually all are striking at every swing.  Then the process is reversed, with lengthening strike intervals, and bells dropping silent one by one.  See some of the videos linked to the following great bells for examples of this unique methodology.

60.   Birkirkara, Malta - 18300 lbs

94.   Valletta, Malta - ~14330 lbs

151.   Victoria, Gozo, Malta - 10010 lbs

152B.   Xewkija, Gozo, Malta - 9954 lbs

158.   Lija, Gozo, Malta - 9576 lbs

159.   Qormi, Malta - 9291 lbs

160.   Siġġiewi (Siggiewi), Malta - 9002 lbs

167.   Valletta, Malta - 8836 lbs

 

Switzerland

43.   Bern, Switzerland - 21915 lbs

79.   Fribourg (Freiburg), Switzerland - ~16100 lbs

95A.   Flanthey, Valais, Switzerland - ~14110 lbs

97.   Bern, Switzerland - 14100 lbs

108A.   Geneva, Switzerland - ~13200 lbs

163.   Solothurn, Switzerland - 8985 lbs

168C.   Saint-Maurice, Lower-Valais, Switzerland - ~8820 lbs

 

Netherlands

44.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 21670 lbs

53.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 20283 lbs

58.   Delft, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands - ~19300 lbs

62.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 18137 lbs

68A.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~17300 lbs

77.   Amsterdam, Noord Holland, Netherlands - ~17300 lbs

81.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 15680 lbs

87.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 14595 lbs

89B.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

89C.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

99.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - ~14000 lbs

101.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - 13823 lbs

105.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 13560 lbs

114.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 13040 lbs

115.   Den Haag, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - ~12790 lbs

116B.   Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12566 lbs

120.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12365 lbs

125.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - 12236 lbs

127B.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

127C.   Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

140.   Rotterdam, Noord Holland, Netherlands - 11405 lbs

147.   Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands - ~10400 lbs

149.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 10165 lbs

161.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 9420 lbs

165.   Venray, Limburg, Netherlands - 9150 lbs

166.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 8890 lbs

 

Hungary

52.   Budapest, Hungary - 20400 lbs

 

Belgium

57.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

63.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

64C.   Maredsous, Namur, Belgium - ~17600 lbs

82.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - 15644 lbs

89A.   Brussels, Belgium - ~14550 lbs

102.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13670 lbs

103.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13670 lbs

106.   Kortrijk, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13450 lbs

108B.   Bruges/Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

108C.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

130B.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

130C.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

135.   Bruges/Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - 11863 lbs

138.   Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium - 11684 lbs

157.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - 9830 lbs

164.   Ath, Hainaut, Belgium - ~8973 lbs

168A.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

168B.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

 

Finland

64A.   Pyhäsalmi, Finland - ~17000 lbs

 

Ukraine

29B.   Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine - ~24000 lbs

64B.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~17000 lbs

 

Luxembourg

84.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15399 lbs

85.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15036 lbs

126.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 12192 lbs

 

Belarus

162.   Zhyrovichy, Belarus - ~9260 lbs


References:

The late John Ketteringham's collection of recordings of notable bells includes several of the above.


Return to the indexes to great bells.

Return to indexes to tower bell sites in Europe.


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This page was created 2006/04/19, and last revised 2020/11/21.

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