Bells of Wawel Cathedral » Silver Bells' Tower
FORMERLY KNOWN AS WIKARYJSKA (VICAR’S) OR DZWONOWA (BELL TOWER)
Silver Bells TowerIt is the oldest preserved bell tower of the Wawel Cathedral. Its lower stone part, 12 m high, was built in the first half of the 12th century, together with the second cathedral, called Hermanowska (“of Herman”). Rectangular brick part of the tower with the room for the bells was added in the third quarter of the 14th century. In 1530 another storey was added and the tower received a decorative late gothic spire, which in 1769 was replaced by a pyramid roof.
There are three bells hanging in the tower:
The Maciek Bell1.The Big Bell, aka Goworek, Gąsiorek
Founded ca. 1423 by bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki, one of the heroes of the battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) of 1410, in later years made cardinal.
Diameter: 98 cm (38.5 in), weight: 732 kg (1613.8 lbs), Basic tone: A-flat
2.The Middle Bell, aka Nowak
Founded by a Cracow canon named Herman ca. 1271, during the reign of Duke Bolesław the Chaste and his wife, St Kinga (Cunegunda). It is the oldest of the bells of the Wawel Cathedral.
Diameter: 83 cm (32.6 in), weight 420 kg (926 lbs)
3.The Small Bell, aka Maciek
Founded by the Cracow Cathedral Chapter in 1669. It is the smallest and youngest of the bells of the Wawel Cathedral.
Diameter: 72 cm (28.3 in), weight 210 kg (463 lbs)
Old clappers of Silver BellsRINGING TIMES:
Mon-Fri 6:25 a.m.,12:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
Sundays and holidays 6:55 a.m.,12:00 p.m.,7:00 p.m.
OLD CLAPPERS OF THE SILVER BELLS
These ancient clappers for centuries served Wawel Cathedral by producing the sound of the Silver Bells.
- The clapper of the Zbyszko bell, weighing 20 kg (44 lbs)
- The clapper of the Mieczysław bell, weighing 11 kg (24.2 lbs)
- The clapper of the Maciek bell, weighing 8.2 kg (18 lbs)
The final time these clappers struck the bodies of the bells was to summon the faithful to the Angelus prayer at noon of 4 May 2008, on the Ascension day.
These clappers were replaced by new ones during the renovation and modernisation of the Silver Bells’ Tower in May 2008.