Great Bells of Europe
by country

Here are listed 107 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 many 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 40 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 (6),   Portugal (4) & France (15+),   Estonia (1),   Poland (3),   Spain (6+),   Czech Republic (1),   Greece (1),   Bulgaria (1),   Vatican (1),   Malta (8),   Switzerland (7+),   Netherlands (25+),   Hungary (1),   Belgium (17),   Finland (1), & Ukraine (2),   Luxembourg (3)  


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

Italy

3.  Rovereto, Italy - 49910 lbs

8.   Bruneck/Brunico, Italy - ~39900 lbs

19.   Messina, Italy - ~29100 lbs

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

68.   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

52.   Innsbruck, Austria - 19950 lbs

74.   Innsbruck, Austria - 15803 lbs

105A.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 12566 lbs

 

Portugal

5.   Lisbon, Portugal - ~44000 lbs

32B.   Mafra, Portugal - ~23100 lbs

46.   Mafra, Portugal - ~21253 lbs

53.   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

21.   Paris, France - ~28200 lbs

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

35.   Reims, Marne, France - ~22950 lbs

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

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

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

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

80.   Auch, Gers (Pays d'Oc), France - 22000 lbs

114A.   Douai, Nord, France - ~12000 lbs

117A.   Chambéry, Savoie, France - ~12000 lbs

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

127.   Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France - ~10800 lbs

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

 

Estonia

10.   Tallinn, Estonia - 34315 lbs

 

Poland

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

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

28A.   Cracow, Poland - ~24200 lbs

 

Spain

13.   Toledo, Spain - ~32100 lbs

41.   Pamplona, Spain - ~22200 lbs

70.   Valencia, Valenciana, Spain - ~16570 lbs

81.   Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain - 14683 lbs

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

123.   Seville, Spain - ~11800 lbs

 

Czech Republic
(formerly part of Czechoslovakia)

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

 

Greece

20.   Mount Athos - ~28600 lbs

 

Bulgaria

22.   Sofia, Bulgaria - ~24200 lbs

 

Vaticano

28B.   Vaticano (Vatican City) - ~24200 lbs

 

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.

89.   Valletta, Malta - ~14330 lbs

134.   Victoria, Gozo, Malta - 10010 lbs

135B.   Xewkija, Gozo, Malta - 9954 lbs

141.   Lija, Gozo, Malta - 9576 lbs

142.   Qormi, Malta - 9291 lbs

143.   Siġġiewi (Siggiewi), Malta - 9002 lbs

148.   Valleta, Malta - 8836 lbs

 

Switzerland

43.   Bern, Switzerland - 21915 lbs

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

90A.   Flanthey, Valais, Switzerland - ~14110 lbs

92.   Bern, Switzerland - 14100 lbs

99A.   Geneva, Switzerland - ~13200 lbs

145.   Solothurn, Switzerland - 8985 lbs

150C.   Saint-Maurice, Lower-Valais, Switzerland - ~8820 lbs

 

Netherlands

44.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 21670 lbs

51.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 20283 lbs

57.   Delft, Netherlands - ~19300 lbs

58.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 18137 lbs

64A.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~17300 lbs

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

75.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 15680 lbs

82.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 14595 lbs

84B.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

84C.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

93.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - ~14000 lbs

94.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - 13823 lbs

99D.   Den Haag, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - ~13200 lbs

104.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 13040 lbs

107B.   Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12566 lbs

108.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12365 lbs

112.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - 12236 lbs

114B.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

114C.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

126.   Rotterdam, Noord Holland, Netherlands - 11405 lbs

131.   Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands - ~10400 lbs

133.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 10165 lbs

144.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 9420 lbs

147.   Venray, Limburg, Netherlands - 9150 lbs

148.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 8890 lbs

 

Hungary

50.   Budapest, Hungary - 20400 lbs

 

Belgium

55.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

59.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

60C.   Maredsous, Namur, Belgium - ~17600 lbs

76.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - 15644 lbs

84A.   Brussels, Belgium - ~14550 lbs

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

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

99B.   Bruges/Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

99C.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

117B.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

117C.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

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

125.   Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium - 11684 lbs

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

146.   Ath, Hainaut, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

150A.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

150B.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

 

Finland

59A.   Pyhäsalmi, Finland - ~17000 lbs

 

Ukraine

28C.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~24000 lbs

59B.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~17000 lbs

 

Luxembourg

78.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15399 lbs

79.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15036 lbs

113.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 12192 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 2020/03/31.

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