Past and present

The “Martyr Town” of Dendermonde undertook many initiatives in 2018 as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice. One of them was the realisation of a small peace chime. The idea came from city carillonneur Lorenz Meulebroek and was supported by the mayor, city council and church council. The bells would serve as a sonorous witness of the celebration of the end of the First World War and become a call for a peaceful society.

The instrument consists of fifteen tuned bells, each with inscriptions referring to the history of war and peace. It was installed in the 12th-century tower of the Sint-Gillis-binnenkerk, close to the monument commemorating the victims of both World Wars. The first fourteen bells, nine of which were second-hand and five were new, were solemnly blessed on 27 October 2018 during a celebration in the Sint-Gillis-binnenkerk. They sounded for the first time on 11 November 2018 at 11 a.m., as part of the ‘Celebrate Peace’ ceremony. Also on that day, the new bourdon of the carillon was consecrated as a ‘commemorative bell’ and presented to the public. Later this bell was hung in the tower with the other bells.

The peace bells sound every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and are controlled by an Apollo III clockwork by Clock-o-Matic. It is the intention to extend the chimes one day and to develop them into a full-fledged carillon.

Facts and figures

Number of bells 15
Total weight of the bells 230 kg
Weight of the bourdon 38 kg
Pitch of bourdon d3
Bell-founders Petit & Fritsen (9), Eijsbouts (6)
Manual playing system none
Automatic playing system MIDI-driven with electromagnetic hammers
Carillonneur no
Regular recitals no
Summer concerts no
Accessibility of the tower no

Significant inscription

Bell &:

11 NOVEMBER 2018

VIER VREDE

100 JAAR WAPENSTILSTAND

STADSBESTUUR DENDERMONDE

 

 

(11 November 2018

celebrate peace

100 years of Armistice

City Council of Dendermonde)