Ever since the French Revolution, the bells at Notre Dame have been discordant, out-of-tune, but that is about to change.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame would be jumping for joy at the news.
Nine new enormous bronze bells have arrived at the Paris cathedral to replace the old ones that had been discordant for decades, and to help the landmark rediscover its historical harmony.
The bells, named after saints, and prominent Catholic figures, will be on display at Notre Dame from Saturday until February 25 when they will be hoisted to its iconic twin towers.
The old bells, which dated from different periods throughout Notre Dame's history, were out of tune with each other and with Emmanuel, which has hung in the cathedral since the 17th century, according to cathedral officials.
The arrival of the bells ‘is historic precisely because since the 18th century, we haven't experienced such an event,’ said the cathedral's rector, Patrick Jacquin. ‘During the French Revolution, they (the bells) were all brought down and broken except the great bell, Emmanuel, which is here and four other bells that were recast in the middle of the nineteenth century…. This will complete in a definitive manner the entire set of 10 bells as conceived … in the Middle Ages.’
The €2 million (£1.7 million) bell-casting project was funded via donations, cathedral officials say.
‘Historically the idea of this project was to recreate the old bells of Notre Dame in terms of power, in terms of tune, which means that there will be again 10 bells ringing into the cathedral as it used to be in the Middle Ages and up until the French Revolution,’ said Paul Bergamo, president of the Cornille-Havard Foundry in Villedieu-les-Poeles.
The new bells will be installed in time to ring out for Palm Sunday (March 23) and Easter. If you want to hear the clear tone of one of the bells, watch this short video of the blessing of the bells.Posted by Jill Fallon at February 5, 2013 11:02 AM | Permalink