Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling

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Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling

Friedrich Wilhelm Hans Kurt Schilling (born September 2, 1914 in Apolda ; † June 6, 1971 in Heidelberg ) was a German bell founder .

Foundry mark from FW Schilling on the Nikolaus bell in St. Martin (Lorch)

life and work

Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling came from the Apolda (Thuringia) resident bell foundry family Schilling (see also Bell foundry Apolda ), he was a grandson of Franz Schilling. At the age of twelve he already cast the first bell in Apolda. He completed his training at the H. Rüetschi company in Aarau and completed it in the Egger bell foundry in Staad in 1933.

After the Second World War he was the custodian of the Hamburg bell collection camp and, like his uncle Franz, worked in Apolda to return the bells. He ensured the return home of more than 13,000 bells that were stored in the Hamburg free port and had been spared from melting down.

In 1949 he moved to the Bergheim district of Heidelberg in order to set up his own business, as the Apoldaer bell foundry was still run by his father Otto Schilling and his uncle Franz Schilling.

There he began with just a single-storey stone building, two barns and a shed filled with scrap, and in just a few years created a company with a worldwide reputation. Since it was a completely new beginning in Heidelberg, and also with workers who had previously neither worked in a molding shop nor in a foundry, the difficulties appeared enormous at first. But Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling overcame this time quickly, and the eleven-part chime of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg , cast in 1953, was already showing his mastery. Starting from the bell ribs of his father's foundry in Apolda, he soon developed his own line, which later differed in sound from the one in Apolda (the so-called Schilling rib.) He preferred heavy and extremely heavy bell ribs. Like the Thuringian company, he was supported by his older brother, the mathematician Otto Schilling .

Schilling had chilled cast iron bells manufactured in another company, at JF Weule in Bockenem am Harz - the company that had produced a large number of chilled cast iron bells as Ulrich & Weule at the time. They were cast according to Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling's bell ribs and then fitted with bell fittings in the Heidelberg factory . In this way he was able to obtain the necessary capital for the development, expansion and maintenance of his company.

Almost 8,000 bells went from the Heidelberg foundry all over the world. The company supplied the bells for the Providence Church , the Jesuit Church and St. Bonifatius in Heidelberg, as well as for numerous other churches throughout Germany and beyond. A bell by Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling for the Marktkirche in Hanover is one of the largest in Germany with a weight of over 10 tons. They even exported to overseas, for example to the Philippines, Ghana and the USA. Schilling earned a special reputation for his carillons , among others in Bonn, Hanover, Kassel, Frankfurt am Main and in the Heidelberg town hall and his carillon in the old town hall of Mannheim and in the Frankfurt "Römer" , because they have a particularly precise tuning of the bells required.

After Schilling's death, the foundry was continued as the Heidelberg bell foundry against his declared wish . After the company merged with the Bachert bell foundry from Karlsruhe in 1982 to form the Karlsruhe bell and art foundry , production in Heidelberg was discontinued and relocated to Karlsruhe. After the hiring, the company premises lay fallow for many years. From 1991 to 1999 there was an autonomous center on the site . In the early 2000s, new apartments were built on it. As a reminder of the earlier use, a last bell was cast on site in 2001, the quarter was given the name “Old Bell Foundry” and symbolic blue-bell trees were planted in the inner courtyards of the quarters .

List of bells


See also


  • Dieter Schmidt: Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling. Life and work . Schmidt, Nuremberg 1992, ISBN 3-928512-01-3 .

Web links

Commons : Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bell foundry Heidelberg. Retrieved October 27, 2018 .
  2. Autonomous and homeless . ruprecht, Heidelberg student newspaper. No. 88, February 3, 2004; P. 7.
  3. Video recording of the peal (3:48 minutes) on YouTube.Published on May 12, 2013
  4. Full peal, 15 bells (15 min) on YouTube .
  5. Prelim and plenary session (8 min) on YouTube .
  6. ^, St. Katharinen in Hamburg , accessed on April 12, 2015
  7. Angelus bell | Bell Museum. Retrieved May 13, 2017 .
  8. Bell concert (4 min) on YouTube .
  9. Sound test
  10. ^ Kohlberg, ev. Nikolauskirche. Retrieved December 24, 2018 .
  11. Hubert Foersch: Limburger bells Book - bells and chimes in the diocese Limburg. Verlag des Bischöflichen Ordinariates, Limburg 1997
  12. Ringing the b 0 St. Nicholas bell
  13. Ring the video on YouTube .
  14. 14 min video on YouTube .
  15. Full bells video on YouTube .
  16. Bells of the Brother Klaus church Villingen on