Lowell House Society of Russian Bell Ringers

Lowell House Society of Russian Bell Ringers

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

August 18 (Day 7): Kremlin and Moscow Bell Towers

August 18, 2018

After some practice with the training set at the Danilov Monastery, we visited the Moscow Kremlin. There was a military parade with Kremlin guards on horseback, while Konstantin rang a peal from the Ivan the Great bell tower. Once Konstantin came down, he showed us around Cathedral Square inside the Kremlin, where tsars attended services and celebrated weddings. We also saw the Tsar bell, a 200 ton bell cast in the 18th century. Because of its immense size, it was damaged by cold cracks and the casting was unsuccessful. Before the bell was ever rung, it broke, and the broken piece alone weighs 11 tons. That leaves the largest bell ever used as the previous Tsar bell at around 170 tons. Because of the embarrassment of the failed project, the damage was attributed to a fire several years later, and the broken bell was not presented until about a hundred years later. We also saw the Tsar cannon, similarly huge and never used. Right outside the Kremlin are Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square.





We visited bell towers at the Zaikonospassky Monastery and Kazan Cathedral. We got to ring at Kazan Cathedral right on Red Square, close enough that Father Roman announced as we climbed the tower, “Let’s call Putin.”

Then we visited Oleg, another bell ringer whom we met at tea earlier this week. He is the bell ringer at a church that ministers to the Chinese community, situated right on the Moscow River. The bell tower has views towards the Peter the Great statue and Christ the Savior. Oleg rang a toll for several minutes for the Saturday evening service before letting us ring for a while. Then, he rang an awe-inspiring peal, hands flying across the control system that he crafted himself as he played a self-composed piece inspired by Slavonic folklore from Bulgaria written in 9/8 and 11/8 time.


We made our way back to Danilov Monastery through a park with sculpture portraits of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and others from the Soviet period. The walk continued through Gorky Park, Moscow’s Central Park, where there was a music festival. Back at Danilov, it was the Saturday evening service, and we participated in the peal at the end of the service. Jessica and I even got to ring the biggest Bolshoi bell, which is only used for the highest church holidays, with this weekend being the Transfiguration.


What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: