The Campana Maggiore (Great Bell) of the Cathedral of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore, is now set to chime out over the city rooftops for another fifty-or-so years. Latterly, it was showing perilous signs of wear and tear on the sound bow area struck by the clapper. In a four-day highly skilled operation, specialized workmen turned it round to expose the last undamaged portion so that it can continue to honour the persistent thrice-daily battering it takes every day, punctually at 7am, 12 noon and sunset.

The Campana Maggiore, dedicated to St. Reparata, is a massive bronze bell, weighing over 5 tons and with a diameter of 2 m. It was first cast in 1475 and re-cast in 1705 when its sides began to show cracks. Since then it has been rotated by a quarter several times, the last recorded being 1956-57. Experts say that this will be the last time this operation can be carried out before the bell must be re-cast.

The bells are hung in the Giotto Bell Tower beside the Cathedral, along with the other 12 smaller bells, 7 of which, including the St. Reparata bell, are still rung every day. Since bells are believed to have “souls”, they all have names – Misericordia (Mercy), Apostolica, Annunziata (Annunciation), Mater Dei, Assumption, (the) Immaculate.

The maintenance of the great bell was commissioned by the Opera Santa Maria del Fiore and carried out by bell experts A.E.I. di Perego (Milan).

Info: https://duomo.firenze.it

Posted on 01 Dec 2021 by Editor
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