Meaning of Bell Tower

A bell tower is the structure that houses one or more bells. Usually it is a tower that is part of a building. For example: “The authorities announced a millionaire investment to restore the bell tower of the cathedral”, “The boy ran to the bell tower to announce the news”, “The criminal tried to take refuge in the bell tower, but was discovered by the police.

The bell towers, also called campaniles, usually belong to temples such as chapels, churches or cathedrals. They can also be present in public buildings such as town halls or governorates. Its original function was to summon the neighbors by ringing the bells. In this way, at the time of mass, the church bells were rung.

In the same church it is possible to find several bell towers; in turn, each of them may have one or more bells, which is why the term itself does not clearly describe all the characteristics of this architectural type. At present, it is very common to replace the bells with the carillon, a percussion musical instrument that is made up of a set of bells.

In the carillon, which is also called the bell organ and the aerial organ, we find several bells that reproduce a certain musical scale. To make them sound, they need to be struck by a hammer, and this can occur in several ways:

* manually: this method is probably used as early as the 11th century, although with greater certainty we know that it appeared in the 13th century;

* Mechanically: activating a set of hammers that the interpreter controls by means of a lever that we could define as a keyboard. This type of carillon is more modern than the previous one, since it dates from the late 15th century.

With the changes imposed by technology, the usefulness of the bell towers was reduced as people began to be summoned by other means (advertisements in the media, telephony, etc.). The bell towers, however, are still used in many regions, either for the same old purpose or for reasons of tradition.

The Tower of Pisa, famous for its inclination, is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa. Construction began in 1173 and soon began to lean. Between 1990 and 2011 this bell tower was closed to the public due to engineering work being carried out to prevent its collapse.

La Giralda is another well-known bell tower. It belongs to the Cathedral of Santa MarĂ­a de la Sede de Sevilla (Spain) and combines sectors that belonged to a mosque with parts superimposed by the Christians.

In Normandy, one of the thirteen French regions that are part of the Republic, we find the city of Rouen, its administrative capital, which is known as ” the city of a hundred bell towers “. The reason for this particular nickname is that it is possible to visit numerous churches in which, as mentioned above, this body of bells formerly used to summon parishioners cannot be absent.

Another of the data that is extremely important to Rouen is that Joan of Arc suffered her sentence to die at the stake. It is believed that the nickname was coined by Victor Hugo himself, so we can guess that before the 19th century people did not refer to Rouen as “the city of a hundred bell towers.”

The historic center of Rouen is among the places of greatest wealth of northern France, perhaps the church most prominent is the cathedral of Notre Dame, which has starred in numerous fictional stories for its beauty and its imposing structure, which holds the tower highest in the country.

Bell Tower

You may also like...