Great Bells of Europe
by country

Here are listed 124 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 (24),   Estonia (1),   Poland (6),   Spain (8),   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

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

 

Austria

4.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 44383 lbs

14.   Salzburg, Austria - 31429 lbs

36.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 22930 lbs

39.   Mösern, Tirol, Austria - 22443 lbs

54.   Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria - 19950 lbs

61.   Salzburg, Austria - 18239 lbs

81.   Innsbruck, Austria - 15803 lbs

118A.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 12566 lbs

 

Portugal

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

33B.   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

33C.   Metz, Moselle, France - ~23100 lbs

36.   Reims, Marne, France - ~22950 lbs

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

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

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

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

73.   Bordeaux, County, France - 17200 lbs

74.   Lyon, Rhône, France - ~16976 lbs

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

101.   Avignon, Vaucluse, France - 10250 lbs

108.   Paris, France - 29258 lbs

121.   Tourcoing, Nord, France - ~15500 lbs

129A.   Douai, Nord, France - ~12000 lbs

129D.   Soissons, Aisne, France - ~12000 lbs

133A.   Chambéry, Savoie, France - ~12000 lbs

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

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

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

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

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

155.   Bergues, Nord, France - 10115 lbs

 

Estonia

10.   Tallinn, Estonia - 34315 lbs

 

Poland

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

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

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

109D.   Toruń (Torun), Poland - ~13200 lbs

109E.   Kracow (Cracow), Poland - ~13200 lbs

123B.   Licheń Stary (or Stary Licheń), Konin, Poland - ~12345 lbs

 

Spain

13.   Toledo, Spain - ~32100 lbs

42.   Pamplona, Spain - ~22200 lbs

77.   Valencia, Valenciana, Spain - ~16570 lbs

87.   Santiago de Compostela, Spain - 14683 lbs

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

117.   Toledo, Spain - 12865 lbs

140.   Seville, Spain - ~11800 lbs

153.   Toledo, Spain - 10210 lbs

 

Czech Republic
(formerly part of Czechoslovakia)

18.   Praha (Prague), Czech Republic - ~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

95.   Valletta, Malta - ~14330 lbs

156.   Victoria, Gozo, Malta - 10010 lbs

157B.   Xewkija, Gozo, Malta - 9954 lbs

164.   Lija, Gozo, Malta - 9576 lbs

165.   Qormi, Malta - 9291 lbs

166.   Siġġiewi (Siggiewi), Malta - 9002 lbs

173.   Valletta, Malta - 8836 lbs

 

Switzerland

44.   Bern, Switzerland - 21915 lbs

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

96A.   Flanthey, Valais, Switzerland - ~14110 lbs

98   Bern, Switzerland - 14100 lbs

109A.   Geneva, Switzerland - ~13200 lbs

169.   Solothurn, Switzerland - 8985 lbs

174C.   Saint-Maurice, Lower-Valais, Switzerland - ~8820 lbs

 

Netherlands

46.   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

69A.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~17300 lbs

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

82   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 15680 lbs

88.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 14595 lbs

90B.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

90C.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

100   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - ~14000 lbs

102.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - 13823 lbs

106.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 13560 lbs

109F.   Den Haag, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - ~12790 lbs

116.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 13040 lbs

118B.   Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12566 lbs

122.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12365 lbs

127.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - 12236 lbs

129B.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

129C.   Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

144.   Rotterdam, Noord Holland, Netherlands - 11405 lbs

151.   Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands - ~10400 lbs

154.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 10165 lbs

166.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 9420 lbs

171.   Venray, Limburg, Netherlands - 9150 lbs

172.   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

65C.   Maredsous, Namur, Belgium - ~17600 lbs

83.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - 15644 lbs

90A.   Brussels, Belgium - ~14550 lbs

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

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

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

109B.   Bruges/Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

109C.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

134B.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

134C.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

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

142.   Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium - 11684 lbs

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

170.   Ath, Hainaut, Belgium - ~8973 lbs

174A.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

174B.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

 

Finland

65A.   Pyhäsalmi, Finland - ~17000 lbs

 

Ukraine

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

65B.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~17000 lbs

 

Luxembourg

85.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15399 lbs

86.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15036 lbs

128.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 12192 lbs

 

Belarus

168.   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 2024/01/04.

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