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Past and present

In 1655, the brothers François and Pieter Hemony sold a light carillon of 20 bells to the city council of Doesburg. Due to financial tensions, the council was not able to pay the Hemonys in proper time and to realize its plan to complete this instrument with three heavier bells. In 1723, three small bells by Noorden & De Grave in 1723 were added in order to enlarge the instrument to 23 bells. In 1912 the bells were moved from their location at the outside of the tower to the interior. As a result, the tower got the nickname of ‘giant with the squeaky voice’.

On 15 April 1945, German soldiers blew up the tower, destroying also the carillon. Twenty years later, the eight surviving Hemony bells were included in a heavier carillon of 47 bells. The 39 new bells were cast by Eijsbouts in accordance with the Hemony bells. The four new base bells were given the names of persons who had contributed to world peace after World War II: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Pope John XXIII, American president John F. Kennedy, and European statesman Robert Schuman.

On the initiative of Stichting Doesburgs Carillon, the instrument was completed with a Nelson Mandela bell in 2015. In 1965 as well as in 2015, the instrument was inaugurated on 5 May or Liberation Day. The pacifistic identity of the Doesburg carillon is beautifully expressed in the five base bells, whose inscriptions are famous quotes by the persons to whom they are dedicated.

Facts and figures

Number of bells 48
Total weight of the bells 10,152 kg
Weight of the bourdon 1786 kg
Pitch of bourdon d1 flat, connected to c in the keyboard
Bell-founders 8 François and Pieter Hemony (1654), 40 Eijsbouts (39 from 1964, 1 from 2015)
Manual playing system mechanical baton-type keyboard
Automatic playing system quarter chimes on electro-pneumatic system
Carillonneur Frans Haagen
Regular recitals 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 2 to 3 pm; 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 10 to 11 am; on special occasions
Summer concerts on occasions
Accessibility of the tower after appointment with VVV Doesburg

Significant inscription

Het nationale bloeit op in het bovennationale.

(The national flourishes within the supranational)


Inscription on Robert Schuman Bell

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