Erfurt's Great Bell

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Erfurt Cathedral's Great Bell - Gloriosa

Listen to the Gloriosa's sound!

listen to Erfurt Cathedral's Gloriosa sound

Listen to the bell ensemble's sound!Listen to the bell ensemble's sound!

listen to Erfurt Cathedral's bell ensemble sound

The Gloriosa (of Erfurt Cathedral) is the outstanding specimen among the older bells to have survived. This is one of the finest achievements of European bell-casting and one of the largest bells to emerge from the Middle Ages , being about 2 meters high and 2.57 m across. 


After bells of same name had either burst or been consumed by flames, the fifth recasting was undertaken in July 1497 by Gerhardus Wou de Campis, a bell and cannon maker from the Netherlands. The casting was done in the space between the cathedral and St. Severus. It is one of the most perfect examples we know, not only by virtue of its fine, full resonance, but also of its frieze of rosettes and vine leaves between plain rings, its style of lettering and the two identical reliefs of the Virgin with in an aureole. A crack appeared in its side and sound bow in 1984, so that it had to be welded on site in 1985 by using a complicated specialist technique.


The other bells

The bells dedicated to St Joseph and St Christopher were lost as a result of requisitioning during the two world wars, but recast in 1961/62 under the same names. The older bells which have survived are: Trinity (by N.J. Sorber, 1721), John (N.J. Sorber, 1720), Cosmas and Domain (Jakob König, 1625), Cantabona (1492).


bibliography: Dr. H. H. Forberg, Dr. Günther Lucke, Der Dom zu Erfurt, Schnell, Kunstführer Nr. 1887 (von 1981),
4. Auflage1996, Verlag Schnell & Steiner GmbH Regensburg - Published in this internet site with kind permission of the authors and of the publishing company.

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