Verona Cathedral Tower and Bells - by David Bagley.

Verona Cathedral

 

One of the most prominent landmarks in the city of Verona is the Duomo (Cathedral). In the tall (79.4m) tower, which was built between 1913 and 1925, is a ring of nine bells, tenor 90cwt (in Ab), making them the heaviest full circle ring in the world. Liverpool Cathedral is only 82cwt!

The bells were originally cast in 1931 by the Cavadini foundry of Verona and the original tenor cracked with one day left on the bell founder's 12 month guarantee! This was recast in 1934 with a slightly larger bell, and part of the tower around the trap door was removed so that it could be installed. The 1934 tenor then cracked in 2001, and has now been replaced by a new bell which weighs 4566kg (89-3-14). This was installed in the tower during 2003.

The Cavadini foundry closed a few decades ago, when the present owner simply locked the doors one day and stopped trading. The foundry is left pretty much as it was, and will hopefully become a bell museum as some stage.

 

The new (2003) tenor being put on display.

 

A close up of the new tenor. Note the excellent finish and decoration.

 

The old (1934) tenor. (This style of headstock is unique to the Cavadini foundry.)

 

 

A view of the treble and 6th bells.

 

In the Ringing Room.

 

The details of the bells are :-

Bell

Diameter

Weight (kg / cwt-qtrs-lb)

Date

1

0.815m

337kg / 6-2-15

1931

2

0.906m

462kg / 9-0-11

1931

3

0.979m

566kg / 11-0-16

1931

4

1.098m

812kg / 15-3-26

1931

5

1.226m

1130kg / 22-0-27

1931

6

1.382m

1613kg / 31-3-0

1931

7

1.477m

1934kg / 38-0-8

1931

8

1.654m

2732kg / 53-3-3

1931

9

1.898m

4566kg / 89-3-14

2003

 

For a short .WAV file of these impressive bells (with the 1934 tenor), click HERE

For a 1.6Mb MP3 recording of a longer part of a concerto (with the 2003 tenor), click HERE

For a 800kb MP3 recording of a bit more of a concerto (with the 2003 tenor), click HERE

Many thanks to Matteo Padovani for the recording of the concerto and to Fabio Tomelleri for the photographs of the 2003 tenor bell.

There is a video clip of Verona Cathedral ringing on YouTube - well worth viewing!

DPB - 07/12/2007.