Thursday, March 28, 2013

Notre Dame rings out again!

Just in time for this week's Easter traditions, the bells of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris are again ringing out since Palm Sunday this week.  Receiving the nine new bells in January, they have now been installed - in time also to celebrate the cathedral's 850th year.

{image Vintage Finds - taken September 2011}
Why were they replaced?  All but one of the original bells from this cathedral were melted down for coins and cannons in the French Revolution.  In the 19th century four others were added to this one original survivor - the effect being out of tune and often said more fitting for a country church than cathedral!

New bell's arrival in January 2013 {image via Associated Press}
So last Saturday, for the first time in two centuries, with these four removed and nine new and beautifully made now installed, on a cold but sunny Parisian afternoon, all ten bells pealed out to a crowd of thousands.

{image via Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris}
One large one came from the Netherlands, and the other eight from the foundry of artisan bell-maker Paul Bergamo in Normandy.

As you can imagine, France being a country which both celebrates and prides itself on it's artisan skills, it is amazing to hear of the skill required to make these bells and to think that these have all been formed and made to be in tune with that one surviving bell!

{image via Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris}
And although newly installed, from today they will now be silent again. Why?  Come back tomorrow to find out (here) and I'll share with you some French Easter traditions!


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