Past and present
The belfry of Eeklo’s town hall was built between 1930 and 1932 to commemorate the fallen soldiers of World War I. In 1984, the city hosted a delegation of former Canadian soldiers. On that occasion the idea emerged to install a carillon in the belfry to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Eeklo in 1944.
Initially, the touristic council VVV Eeklo intended to install a forestrike of 9 bells, but the fundraising campaign exceeded expectations, thanks to contributions from several local businesses, organisations and 800 individuals, and sufficient funds were raised to purchase 23 bells. The inauguration took place on 18 August 1985.
In 1987 three additional bells were installed, funded by three sister cities of Eeklo: Newbury (UK), Braunfels (Germany) and Bagnols (France). These gifts celebrated the mutual friendship between the cities.
In 1990 VVV Eeklo installed a new bell of 100 kg to celebrate the 60th birthday of King Baudouin of Belgium and his 40 years of reign. In 1991 a bell was acquired to celebrate the VVV’s 25th anniversary. The bell was named after its honorary president Marie-Louise Minne-Vermast. In 1992 two other bells were added to the carillon for the same occasion. In 1993 the enlarged Peace Carillon, now comprising 30 bells, was officially handed over to the city of Eeklo.
Facts and figures
|Number of bells||30|
|Total weight of the bells||1194|
|Weight of the bourdon||124|
|Pitch of bourdon||e2|
|Bell founder||Petit & Fritsen (23 from 1985, 3 from 1987, 1 from 1990, 1 from 1991, 2 from 1993)|
|Manual playing system||none|
|Automatic playing system||MIDI-driven with electromagnetic hammers|
|Accessibility of the tower||no|