Exhibition of Mediaeval Bells Opens in Veliky Novgorod
June 6, 2002
Three of Novgorod's ancient
bells were damaged
over the centuries and are now on display in a bell museum.
An exhibition of medieval church bells opens in Veliky Novgorod
on Friday, it was reported by the Novgorod state joint museum and
reserve. Fourteen ancient bells will be on display at the permanent
display on the first floor of the Novgorod Kremlin's Sofia belfry.
Among the displays is the famous 700-kilo "plague bell" from the
belfry of the Znamensky Cathedral. It was cast back in the 15th
century in the days of Ivan the Terrible when the plague claimed
the lives of about 86% of the population of Veliky Novgorod. Those
who survived the epidemic raised the necessary money to have a special
bell cast, that in the course of several centuries warned the town-folk
of an approaching epidemic.
The display also includes bells from the belfry of the Nikolo-Dvorishchensky
Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady's Nativity of the Antoniev
Monastery. In spring this year these rare bells were carefully taken
off the ancient belfries with the help of building cranes and special
devices and brought on lorries to the Novgorod kremlin. Among the
displays are also bells from the Spaso-Transfiguration, Varlaam-Khutinsky
and Duknov monasteries.
According to the restorers, these historical rarities are destined
to remain there forever, since no restoration will be able to make
them "work" again. Most of the bells shown at the display in the
Sofia belfry are what experts call "dumb."
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May 21, 2002
Veliky Novgorod's Oldest Church bells "Move House"
The oldest church bells in the north-western city of Veliky Novgorod
are "moving house".
On Tuesday morning 11 bells from the Church of the Nativity of
the Holy Virgin of the Antoniev Monastery began to be transported
to the Sophia Belfry of the Novgorod Kremlin, where a Novgorod museum
of church bells is being set up. The oldest of the bells, kept in
the Antoniev Monastery, was cast in 1536 and the "youngest" dates
from the 16th century. The weight of the lightest is more than 100
kilogrammes, while the heaviest tips the scale at about 500 kilogrammes.
Larisa Bannikova, deputy curator of the Novgorod state museum preserve,
said that the valuable cargo is inside the church and so a building
crane is ruled out. It is planned that the bells will be pulled
on an improvised sled to the exit from the church. Then they will
be gently reloaded onto trucks.
Bannikova said that the Novgorod Kremlin will also host the famed
700-kilogramme "plague bell" from the belfry of the Znamensky Cathedral.
This bell was moulded in the days of Ivan the Terrible, in the 15th
century, and got its name from one of the worst medieval plague
epidemics that claimed roughly 86 per cent of the Veliky Novgorod
population. It was the survivors who joined together to have a special
The "plague bell", as planned by Novgorod local lore specialists,
will grace the future bells museum.
The original url of this article was http://english.pravda.ru/culture/2002/05/21/29059_.html.
Many thanx to Pravda!