A bell tower is a tower in which mostly church bells are hung , often in a belfry . It can be free-standing, attached to a building or tower on a building roof, such as the crossing tower of a church.
Functions of the bell tower were and are the identification of time intervals, the display of special social events such as church services, weddings and funerals or the warning of fire or military danger, for example. In the rural and industrial society of the 19th century, bell towers in combination with clock strikes were common on manors and manors.
Almost every church tower is designed as a bell tower; But there are also bell towers in secular buildings , such as the bell tower of the Berlin Olympic Stadium or the tower of the Schöneberg Town Hall in Berlin. In the 20th century, bell towers were also built by secular institutions and provided with bells. For the bell towers of the NS-Ordensburgen Krössinsee and Sonthofen , the Apoldaer bell foundry Schilling supplied carillon with sayings from the fascist canon of values. The Buchenwald bell on the bell tower of the Buchenwald memorial is dedicated to the anti-fascist resistance and the victims of the Nazi dictatorship . When constructing bell towers, it must always be ensured that the heavy bells, which are usually hung in the upper part of the tower, can place a high load on the tower structure while it is ringing . Because the stability of the subsoil is also decisive, bell towers in East Friesland , for example, often stand free next to the actual church building and are relatively low.
If the bells in the tower were also designed for use as a musical instrument , they are called carillon or carillon . An example of this is the red tower on the market square in Halle (Saale) with its 76 bells designed for this purpose .
One of the miracle stories about Bishop Gregory of Tours (538-594) provides an indication that in the 6th century France there could have been bells hung in a higher position and moved with a rope . At the beginning of the 9th century, a source mentions that Abbot Ermharius († 738) made a bell and had it hung in a small tower ( turricula ) in the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in Normandy . After these turrets with bells at the beginning of the 8th century, the first taller bell towers may have been erected in France or Italy around the middle of the same century.
Bell towers ( Chinese 鐘樓 / 钟楼 , Pinyin zhōnglóu , Japanese shōrō ) with a drum tower nearby are also found in ancient Chinese cities, as well as in Buddhist temples in China and cultures influenced by them.
Special bell towers
- Campanile - Italy
- Belfry - Flanders
- Espadaña - Spain
- Bell Tower - England
- Bells stack - Schleswig-Holstein
- Glockenhäusl - especially in Bohemia
Bell tower in Mostar
Bell tower on the University of Twente campus
Bell tower in Teruel
Bell tower (built 1384) of Xi'an