Freshly arrived on two trucks – over 52 tons and nearly 30 metres in length – the nine new bells for Notre-Dame de Paris, commissioned for the 850 year anniversary of the cathedral, were blessed by the archbishop of Paris Cardinal André Vingt-Trois last Saturday.
While waiting to be installed in the towers, where they will ring out for the first time on 23rd March 2013, you can see them lined up for close inspection in the nave until 25th February 2013. Here’s all the details…
Eight of the bells (all of which have names) were smelted by the Cornille Havard foundry in their ovens dating from the 19th century: Gabriel, Anne-Geneviève, Denis, Marcel, Etienne, Benoît-Joseph, Maurice and Jean-Marie. They’ll be housed in the North tower, replacing the previous set from 1856 that were made from poor-quality metal and weren’t in tune with the others.
The biggest bell, Marie (6 tons of copper and tin) was made by the Royal Eijbouts foundry in Asten (Netherlands), and will go in the South tower with the first tenor bell, Emmanuel. The new bell has been given the same name as the first tenor bell ever to be installed at Notre-Dame in 1378.
Cost of the whole operation? 2 million euros (£1,625,000 / $2,700,000), all paid for by donations.
And so, on 23rd March 2013, the cathedral will once again have the peal of bells it used to have in the 18th century!
In the meantime, you can see Marie (Mary) and her pals every day at Notre-Dame (here) until 25th February 2013
To check out a slideshow of the bells arriving in Paris by truck, click here.
And there are more photos of the bells close up, including detailed explanations of all the various inscriptions on them (in French): here