Great Bells of Europe
by country

Here are listed 121 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 (7),   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)  


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

20.   Messina, Italy - ~29100 lbs

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

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

 

Austria

4.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 44383 lbs

14.   Salzburg, Austria - 31429 lbs

35.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 22930 lbs

37.   Mösern, Tirol, Austria - 22443 lbs

53.   Innsbruck, Austria - 19950 lbs

78.   Innsbruck, Austria - 15803 lbs

114A.   Wien (Vienna), Austria - 12566 lbs

 

Portugal

5.   Lisbon, Portugal - ~44000 lbs

31B.   Mafra, Portugal - ~23100 lbs

47.   Mafra, Portugal - ~21253 lbs

54.   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

19.   Paris, France - 29258 lbs

31C.   Metz, Moselle, France - ~23100 lbs

34.   Reims, Marne, France - ~22950 lbs

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

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

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

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

70.   Bordeaux, County, France - 17200 lbs

71.   Lyon, Rhône, France - ~16976 lbs

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

98.   Avignon, Vaucluse, France - 10250 lbs

105.   Paris, France - 29258 lbs

117.   Tourcoing, Nord, France - ~15500 lbs

125A.   Douai, Nord, France - ~12000 lbs

128A.   Chambéry, Savoie, France - ~12000 lbs

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

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

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

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

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

147.   Bergues, Nord, France - 10115 lbs

 

Estonia

10.   Tallinn, Estonia - 34315 lbs

 

Poland

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

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

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

106E.   Toruń (Torun), Poland - ~13200 lbs

106F.   Kracow (Cracow), Poland - ~13200 lbs

119B.   Stary Lichen (or Licheń Stary), Konin, Poland - ~12345 lbs

 

Spain

13.   Toledo, Spain - ~32100 lbs

40.   Pamplona, Spain - ~22200 lbs

74.   Valencia, Valenciana, Spain - ~16570 lbs

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

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

134.   Seville, Spain - ~11800 lbs

 

Czech Republic
(formerly part of Czechoslovakia)

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

 

Greece

21.   Mount Athos - ~28600 lbs

 

Bulgaria

22.   Sofia, Bulgaria - ~24200 lbs

 

Vaticano

28A.   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

30.   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.

59.   Birkirkara, Malta - 18300 lbs

92.   Valletta, Malta - ~14330 lbs

148.   Victoria, Gozo, Malta - 10010 lbs

149B.   Xewkija, Gozo, Malta - 9954 lbs

155.   Lija, Gozo, Malta - 9576 lbs

156.   Qormi, Malta - 9291 lbs

157.   Siġġiewi (Siggiewi), Malta - 9002 lbs

163.   Valletta, Malta - 8836 lbs

 

Switzerland

42.   Bern, Switzerland - 21915 lbs

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

93A.   Flanthey, Valais, Switzerland - ~14110 lbs

95.   Bern, Switzerland - 14100 lbs

106A.   Geneva, Switzerland - ~13200 lbs

159.   Solothurn, Switzerland - 8985 lbs

164C.   Saint-Maurice, Lower-Valais, Switzerland - ~8820 lbs

 

Netherlands

43.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 21670 lbs

52.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 20283 lbs

57.   Delft, Netherlands - ~19300 lbs

60.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 18137 lbs

66A.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~17300 lbs

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

79.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 15680 lbs

85.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 14595 lbs

87B.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

87C.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - ~14550 lbs

97.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - ~14000 lbs

99.   Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands - 13823 lbs

103.   Middelburg, Zeeland, Netherlands - 13560 lbs

106D.   Den Haag, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - ~13200 lbs

113.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 13040 lbs

114B.   Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12566 lbs

118.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 12365 lbs

123.   Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands - 12236 lbs

125B.   Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

125C.   Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands - 12125 lbs

138.   Rotterdam, Noord Holland, Netherlands - 11405 lbs

144.   Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands - ~10400 lbs

146.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 10165 lbs

158.   Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands - 9420 lbs

161.   Venray, Limburg, Netherlands - 9150 lbs

162.   Dordrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands - 8890 lbs

 

Hungary

51.   Budapest, Hungary - 20400 lbs

 

Belgium

56.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

61.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - 17990 lbs

62C.   Maredsous, Namur, Belgium - ~17600 lbs

80.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - 15644 lbs

87A.   Brussels, Belgium - ~14550 lbs

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

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

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

106B.   Bruges/Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

106C.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~13200 lbs

128B.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

128C.   Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium - ~12000 lbs

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

136.   Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium - 11684 lbs

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

160.   Ath, Hainaut, Belgium - ~8973 lbs

164A.   Mechelen, Antwerpen, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

164B.   Leuven, Brabant, Belgium - ~8800 lbs

 

Finland

62A.   Pyhäsalmi, Finland - ~17000 lbs

 

Ukraine

28B.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~24000 lbs

62B.   Kiev, Ukraine - ~17000 lbs

 

Luxembourg

82.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15399 lbs

83.   Echternach, Luxembourg - 15036 lbs

124.   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 2020/06/04.

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