Past and present
In 1967 a committee was erected to explore possibilities to install a carillon in the village of Bergen. The first option was the acquisition of a Van Bergen carillon that was located in Drachten at that moment. This instrument would be placed in a bell tower in the orange park in Bergen.
This plan could not be carried out and the decision was made to install a new instrument in the roof turret of the so-called Ruïnekerk. After the church was destroyed in 1574 during the Siege of Alkmaar, it was rebuilt, but some parts of the original nave are still preserved as a ruin. Because of the small size of the roof turret, only a two-octave carillon could be installed. The committee developed various activities, such as a lottery, and achieved half of the required budget; the municipality provided the remainder. The order for the bells was given to the Petit & Fritsen bell foundry.
The committee gave a special mission to the instrument. The 26 bells are dedicated to 250 soldiers from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Czechoslovakia who rest at Bergen General Cemetery. Bells n° 2 to n° 25 bear, in alphabetical order, the names of 216 soldiers and the smallest bell bears the inscription ‘34 gevallenen, alleen bij God bekend’ (34 fallen, known unto God). In addition, a 27th bell was placed in the tower, without a clapper and with a bottom. It contains a capsule with a plan of the carillon, the names of the donors and a call towards future generations to maintain the carillon.
The small but sonorous carillon was inaugurated on 5 May 1970, 25 years after the liberation of the Netherlands.
Facts and figures
|Number of bells||26|
|Total weight of the bells||1116 kg|
|Weight of the bourdon||132 kg|
|Pitch of bourdon||e2, connected to c in the keyboard|
|Bell-founders||Petit & Fritsen (1970)|
|Manual playing system||mechanical baton-type keyboard|
|Automatic playing system||MIDI system with electromagnetic hammers; plays melodies on the hour and the half hour, and Westminster motives on the 1st and 3rd quarters|
|Carillonneur||Klaas R.R. de Haan|
|Regular recitals||Thursdays from 11 am to 12 pm|
|Accessibility of the tower||none|
Ik luid voor hen, die voor onze vrijheid vielen en in Bergen rusten 1940-1945
(I toll for those who fell for our freedom and rest in Bergen 1940-1945)
Inscription on the bourdon