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A bell tower is a tower that contains one or more bells, or that is designed to hold bells even if it has none. Such a tower commonly serves as part of a church, and will contain church bells, but there are also many secular bell towers, often part of a municipal building, an educational establishment, or a tower built specifically to house a carillon. Church bell
Church bell
towers often incorporate clocks, and secular towers usually do, as a public service. The Italian term campanile (/ˌkæmpəˈniːliː/; Italian pronunciation: [kampaˈniːle]), deriving from the word campana meaning "bell", is synonymous with bell tower; though in English usage Campanile tends to be used to refer to a free standing bell tower. A bell tower may also in some traditions be called a belfry, though this term may also refer specifically to the substructure that houses the bells and the ringers rather than the complete tower. The tallest free-standing bell tower in the world, approximately 110 metres (360 ft) high, is the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, located at the University
University
of Birmingham, UK.[1][2]

Contents

1 Purpose 2 History

2.1 Europe 2.2 China

3 Gallery 4 See also 5 References and notes 6 External links

Purpose[edit] Bells are rung from a tower to enable them to be heard at a distance. Church bells can signify the time for worshippers to go to church for a communal service, and can be an indication of a time to pray, without worshippers coming to the church. They are also rung on special occasions such as a wedding, or a funeral service. In some religious traditions they are used within the liturgy of the church service to signify to people that a particular part of the service has been reached.[3].[4] A bell tower may have a single bell, or a collection of bells which are tuned to a common scale. They may be stationary and chimed, rung randomly by swinging through a small arc, or swung through a full circle to enable the high degree of control of English change ringing. They may house a carillon or chimes, in which the bells are sounded by hammers connected via cables to a keyboard. These can be found in many churches and secular buildings in Europe and America including college and university campuses.[5] A variety of electronic devices exist to simulate the sound of bells, but any substantial tower in which a considerable sum of money has been invested will generally have a real set of bells.

The Santo Tomás parish church in Haro, La Rioja
Haro, La Rioja
has an exconjuratory in its bell tower

Some churches have an exconjuratory in the bell tower, a space where ceremonies were conducted to ward off weather-related calamities, like storms and excessive rain. The main bell tower of the Cathedral of Murcia has four. In Christianity, many Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran
Lutheran
churches ring their bells from belltowers three times a day, at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m., summoning the Christian faithful to recite the Lord’s Prayer,[6][7][8] or the Angelus, a prayer recited in honour of the Incarnation of God.[9][10] In addition, most Christian denominations ring church bells to call the faithful to worship, signalling the start of a mass or service of worship.[11] In many historic Christian churches, church bells are also rung during the processions of Candlemas
Candlemas
and Palm Sunday;[12] traditionally, church bells are silent from Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
through the Easter Vigil.[13] The Christian tradition of the ringing of church bells from a belltower is analogous to Islamic
Islamic
tradition of the adhan from a minaret.[14][15] Old bell towers which are no longer used for their original purpose may be kept for their historic or architectural value, though in countries with a strong campanological tradition they often continue to have the bells rung. History[edit] Europe[edit] In AD 400, Paulinus of Nola
Paulinus of Nola
introduced church bells into the Christian Church.[16][17] By the 11th century, bells housed in belltowers became commonplace.[17]

Shafer Tower
Tower
at Ball State University
University
in Muncie, Indiana

Historic
Historic
bell towers exist throughout Europe. The Irish round towers are thought to have functioned in part as bell towers. Famous medieval European examples include Bruges (Belfry of Bruges), Ypres (Cloth Hall, Ypres), Ghent (Belfry of Ghent). Perhaps the most famous European free-standing bell tower, however, is the so-called "Leaning Tower
Tower
of Pisa", which is the campanile of the Duomo di Pisa
Duomo di Pisa
in Pisa, Italy. In 1999 thirty-two Belgian belfries were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. In 2005 this list was extended with one Belgian and twenty-three Northern French belfries and is since known as Belfries of Belgium
Belgium
and France. Most of these were attached to civil buildings, mainly city halls, as symbols of the greater power the cities in the region got in the Middle Ages; a small number of buildings not connected with a belfry, such as bell towers of—or with their—churches, also occur on this same list (details). In the Middle Ages, cities sometimes kept their important documents in belfries. Not all are on a large scale; the "bell" tower of Katúň, in Slovakia, is typical of the many more modest structures that were once common in country areas. Archaic wooden bell towers survive adjoining churches in Lithuania
Lithuania
and as well as in some parts of Poland. In Orthodox Eastern Europe bell ringing also have a strong cultural significance (Russian Orthodox bell ringing), and churches were constructed with bell towers (see also List of tall Orthodox Bell towers). China[edit] Bell towers (Chinese: Zhonglou, Japanese: Shōrō) are common in China and the countries of related cultures. They may appear both as part of a temple complex and as an independent civic building, often paired with a drum tower, as well as in local church buildings. Among the best known examples are the Bell Tower
Tower
(Zhonglou) of Beijing and the Bell Tower
Tower
of Xi'an. Gallery[edit]

Bell towers, belfries and campaniles by date

bell tower, at Mostar

bell tower, at Teruel, (Spain).

Old Belfry of Tōdai-ji, Japan (752, rebuilt 1200)

An Irish round tower, bell tower, at Glendalough, Ireland, c. 900 AD

Primitive bell tower at Katúň, Slovakia
Slovakia
(~12th century)

Leaning Tower
Tower
of Pisa, campanile of the Duomo di Pisa, Italy (1173-1372)

Separate bell tower at Feock Church, Cornwall (13th century)

Inside the belfry of St Medard & St Gildard's, England (13th century)

Beijing Bell Tower
Tower
(1272, reconstructed 1420, 1800)

Bell Tower
Tower
of Xi'an (1384)

Belfry of Aalst, Belgium
Belgium
(1460)

Ivan The Great Bell Tower, Moscow, Russia (1508)

The belfry of Surb Zoravor church in Yerevan, Armenia
Armenia
(1693)

Great Lavra Bell Tower
Tower
of Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Ukraine (1745)

Bell tower
Bell tower
at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
(1797)

Belfry of Bruges, Belgium
Belgium
(1240) (modified 1480s, 1820)

Sather Tower
Tower
(More commonly known as "The Campanile"), Berkeley, CA (1914)

Belfry of Lille, France
France
(1921)

Campanile at the University
University
of Northern Iowa (1927)

The Singing Tower
Tower
at Bok Tower
Tower
Gardens, Lake Wales, FL (1929)

Main Building ( University
University
of Texas at Austin), Austin, TX (1937)

The Campanile at the University
University
of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (1950)

Campanile at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., paid for by the Knights of Columbus; known as "The Knight's Tower". (1959)

The bell tower at University
University
of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA (1960s)

The Addleshaw Tower
Tower
of Chester Cathedral, England (1973–74)

Brigham Young University
University
Centennial Carillon
Carillon
Tower, Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah
(1975)

'Swan Bells', Perth, Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia
(2000)

See also[edit]

Bell-gable Clock tower Conjuratory Octagon on cube Zvonnitsa

References and notes[edit]

^ "25 tallest clock towers/government structures/palaces" (PDF). Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. January 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-08-09.  ^ "Campus tour booklet" (PDF). University
University
of Birmingham. Retrieved 2008-08-09.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Forward Movement. 1 August 1996. Retrieved 16 August 2012. There are two sorts of liturgical bells in the history of the Christian Church-church bells in spires or towers used to call the faithful to worship, and sanctuary bells used to call attention to the coming of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Forward Movement. 1 August 1996. Retrieved 16 August 2012. There are two sorts of liturgical bells in the history of the Christian Church-church bells in spires or towers used to call the faithful to worship, and sanctuary bells used to call attention to the coming of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  ^ "The World Carillon
Carillon
Federation (WCF)". Carillon.org. Retrieved 2012-02-19.  ^ George Herbert Dryer (1897). History of the Christian Church. Curts & Jennings. …every church-bell in Christendom to be tolled three times a day, and all Christians to repeat Pater Nosters (The Lord's Prayer)  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Joan Huyser-Honig (2006). "Uncovering the Blessing of Fixed-Hour Prayer". Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Early Christians prayed the Lord’s Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
three times a day. Medieval church bells called people to common prayer.  Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Matthew: A Shorter Commentary. Continuum International Publishing Group. 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-16. Moreover, the central portion of the Eighteen Benedictions, just like the Lord's Prayer, falls into two distinct parts (in the first half the petitions are for the individuals, in the second half for the nation); and early Christian tradition instructs believers to say the Lord's Prayer three times a day (Did. 8.3) while standing (Apost. const. 7.24), which precisely parallels what the rabbis demanded for the Eighteen Benedictions.  ^ Joyce's Finnegans Wake: The Curse of Kabbalah, Volume 2. Universal Publishers. 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-16. The Angelus
Angelus
is a Christian devotion in memory of the Incarnation. Its name is derived from the opening words, Angelus
Angelus
Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. It consists of three Biblical verses describing the mystery, recited as versicle and response, alternating with the salutation "Hail Mary!" and traditionally is recited in Catholic
Catholic
churches, convents and monasteries three times daily, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m., accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus
Angelus
bell. Some High Church Anglican
Anglican
and Lutheran
Lutheran
churches also use the devotion.  ^ The Anglican
Anglican
Service Book: A Traditional Language Adaptation of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Together with the Psalter Or Psalms of David and Additional Devotions. Good Shepherd Press. 9 January 1991. Retrieved 2012-08-16. The Angelus: In many churches the bell is run morning, noon, and evening in memory of the Incarnation of God, and the faithful say the following prayers, except during Eastertide, when the Regina coeli is said.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Forward Movement. 8 January 1996. Retrieved 2012-08-16. It became customary to ring the church bells to call the faithful to worship and on other important occasions, such as the death of a parishioner.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Forward Movement. 8 January 1996. Retrieved 2012-08-16. It is also traditional that the church bells ring during the processions of Candlemas
Candlemas
(the Feast of the Purification) and Palm Sunday.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Forward Movement. 8 January 1996. Retrieved 2012-08-16. It is traditional that no bells be rung from the last service on Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
until the Great Vigil of Easter.  ^ Church Words: Origins and Meanings. Psychology Press. 8 January 1996. Retrieved 2012-08-16. But even for Muslims who pray infrequently, the adhan marks the passage of time through the day (in much the same way as church bells do in many Christian communities) and serves as a constant reminder that they are living in a Muslim community.  ^ Islamic
Islamic
Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures. Marshal Cavendish. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Muslims living in predominantly Islamic
Islamic
lands, however, have the benefit of the call to prayer (adhan). In the same way that much of the Christian world traditionally used bells to summon the faithful to church services, so the early Muslim community developed its own method of informing the entire community that the time for prayer had arrived.  ^ Kathy Luty, David Philippart (1997). Clip Notes for Church Bulletins - Volume 1. The first known use of bells in churches was by a bishop named Paulinus in the year 400.  ^ a b Roger J. Smith (1997). "Church Bells". Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. Yves Mission. Bells came into use in our churches as early as the year 400, and their introduction is ascribed to Paulinus, bishop of Nola, a town of Campania, in Italy. Their use spread rapidly, as in those unsettled times the church-bell was useful not only for summoning the faithful to religious services, but also for giving an alarm when danger threatened. Their use was sanctioned in 604 by Pope Sabinian, and a ceremony for blessing them was established a little later. Very large bells, for church towers, were probably not in common use until the eleventh century. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bell towers.

Belfries of Belgium
Belgium
and France, UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Centre entry Les Beffrois - France, Belgique, Pays-Bas, blog describing several bell towers (in French) All Saints Bell Tower "What Is a Bell Tower?" - Christoph Paccard Bell Foundry

v t e

Bells

Background and terminology

Bell Bell-cot Bellfounding Bell-gable Bell tower
Bell tower
/ Campanile Bell-ringer Belfry Bourdon Campanology Church bell Full circle ringing Peal Ring of bells Strike tone Striking clock Zvonnitsa

Bell founders and foundries

Andrey Chokhov Bilbie family Franciscus Illenfeld Geert van Wou Gillett & Johnston Hatch bell foundry John Taylor & Co Juutila Foundry Kashpir Ganusov McShane Bell Foundry Meneely Bell Foundry Pieter and François Hemony Petit & Fritsen Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry Rudhall of Gloucester Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Types

Agogô Altar bell Babendil Bianzhong Bicycle bell Bonshō Carillon Chime Cowbell Crotal bell Dead bell Doorbell Dōtaku Ghanta Glockenspiel Handbell Jingle bell Kane Ship's bell Standing bell Suzu Tintinnabulum Tubular bells

Ringing styles

Bell pattern Blagovest Bolognese bell ringing art Change ringing Canpanò Grandsire Method ringing Peal Russian Orthodox bell ringing Veronese bellringing art

Notable bells

List of heaviest bells Balangiga bells Bell of Good Luck Big Ben Freedom Bell Great Bell of Dhammazedi Great Tom Ivan the Great Bell Tower Japanese Peace Bell Justice Bell Liberty Bell Maria Gloriosa Mingun Bell Olympic Bell Sigismund Bell St. Petersglocke Swan Bells Tsar Bell World Peace Bells Yongle Big Bell

Related

The Ringing World Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers Glockenmuseum Stiftskirche Herrenberg Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell
Museum Ringing Organisations Freedom Bell, American Legion

Authority control

LCCN: sh85013025 GND: 4157644-5 BNF: cb11934126d (d

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