10 largest bells in the world

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

The bell is an ancient musical instrument that has survived to the present day. It has a domed shape, inside which is a 'tongue', which helps to extract sounds that cannot be confused with anything.

It sounds at church services, as well as holidays. According to popular beliefs, this instrument helps to heal with the help of its sound from diseases, drive out demons, withdraw into oneself during meditation. Bells were rung during war or fire, warning people of danger.

The bell can be of various sizes. There are small Valdai bells with a gentle melodic sound, and there are huge ones, like a giant in Beijing, emitting a majestic ringing heard at a great distance.

For those who want to amaze the imagination, we have compiled a rating of the largest bells.

Ranking of the largest bells in the world

Nomination a place name price
An overview of the largest bells in the world 10 Big Bell (Beijing) 46.5 TONS
9 Cathedral bell (Nizhny Novgorod) 64 TONS
8 Big Assumption Bell (Moscow) 65 TONS
7 New Tsar Bell (Sergiev Posad) 72 TONS
6 'Chimes' (Japan) 74 TONS
5 Mingun Bell (Myanmar) 90 TONS
4 Bell in Xilaysi Monastery (Liuzhou, China) 109 TONS
3 The Bell of Happiness (Pingdingshan, China) 116 TONS
2 Tsar Bell (Moscow) 203 TONS
1 Great Bell of Dhammazedi (Myanmar) 297 Tons

10th place: Big Bell (Beijing) – 46.5 tons.

Rating: 4.1

Big Bell (Beijing)

In 1733, by order of the Qing Dynasty ruler Yongzheng, the Temple of Awakening (Great Bell) was established in China. It is located in Beijing, Khandian district. At the sanctuary, the rulers of China prayed for the welfare of the country and its people.

The temple itself received its second name because of the giant bell Yongle, which was brought from the Temple of Longevity. The alarm weighs 46.5 tons. “Growth” – 6.94 meters, diameter – 3.3 meters. Yongle's casting uses a variety of metal combinations.

The ringing of a giant can be very diverse: from quiet and melodic, to shrill and booming, affecting everything around it at a distance of 15 km. But not only the melody of the gigantic instrument is his property. The dome is engraved with Buddhist sutras.

There is a ringing 108 times when the festival reigns in China. According to beliefs and legends, any person in these minutes can get rid of 108 troubles and misfortunes.

It is worth noting that it is China that is considered the birthplace of the bell, in which the 'firstborn' was cast four thousand years before our era. According to legend, it owes its sound to the daughter of a courtier named Adorable Flower. The girl threw herself into a vat of boiling metal to dispel the evil spell that prevented the creation of a musical instrument. Since then, the bells have been sounding clear and a little dreary notes are heard.

9th place: Cathedral bell (Nizhny Novgorod) – 64 tons.

Rating: 4.2

Cathedral bell (Nizhny Novgorod)

In Nizhny Novgorod, where the Oka and Volga meet, there is a huge campanus. It was installed in honor of the deeds of Minin and Pozharsky. In 1612, the Nizhny Novgorod militia, led by two heroes, liberated Moscow from the invasion of the Baltic troops.

In terms of size, the campan is one of the three big brothers of the Russian Federation. Weight – 64 tons, diameter – 4 m. Casting took place in 2012 at the Baltic plant in St. Petersburg.

“Cathedral” is decorated with convex images of pious Makarii Zheltovodsky, Seraphim of Sarov; there are also images of princes Alexander Nevsky and Georgy Vladimirsky, the founder of Nizhny Novgorod.

A festive reception of the bell took place in the summer of 2012. And already in August, residents of Nizhny Novgorod heard the 'voice' of the musical giant. A note of 'salt' spread throughout the district, announcing that 'Cathedral' is at home.

8th place: Big Assumption Bell (Moscow) – 65 tons

Rating: 4.3

Big Assumption Bell (Moscow)

This bell has one of the most interesting destinies. It was cast in 1760 and 1817 by the same master – Yakov Zavyalov.

The first option was already striking in size. In order to swing the tongue weighing 2 tons for blows in both directions, it took five people.

In 1812, the giant was defeated during the capture of Moscow by French troops. The explosion in the Kremlin destroyed the Assumption Belfry. The rest of the bells, despite minor damage, remained intact, unlike their counterpart.

Emperor Alexander I took care of the revival of the bell set, and in April 1817, with the permission of Archbishop Augustine, 'Uspensky' was smashed to pieces. They were transported to the Mikhail Bogdanov plant.

A year later, ninety-year-old Yakov Zavyalov, with the help of the cannon master Rusinov, made the final version in honor of the victory over Napoleon. To give the bell a symbol of victory in the war with the French, it included bronze captured enemy cannons.

On August 27, 1819, the large 'Uspensky' was raised to the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in the Kremlin.

The giant weighs more than 65 tons, its tongue is 1.2 tons, and its diameter is 4.2 meters.

Each side of the bell is decorated with two rows of six medallions. On one side, you can see a half-length relief of the emperor-liberator Alexander I, to the left and right of him – images of the mother of the Tsar Maria Feodorovna, as well as Empress Elizabeth Alekseevna. Above is the icon of Jesus Christ, to the right of him is the Mother of God, to the left is John the Baptist. On the other side there are portraits of three Grand Dukes, younger brothers of Alexander I: Constantine, Nikolai and Mikhail. The Dormition of the Mother of God is engraved on the top of the medallion, and on the sides – Saints John and Alexy. A lengthy patriotic inscription is cast on the bell: “They covered the space from the Capital of Russia to its borders with their corpses” – a song of praise to Russian weapons and victory over the French.

Before the 1918 revolution, 'Uspensky' regularly called on Easter, and then fell silent for many years, until 1993.

The bell ringers love the bell, they call it alive. All from the fact that after twelve blows are made, the giant vibrates for a long time, as if breathing.

7th place: New Tsar Bell (Sergiev Posad) – 72 tons.

Rating: 4.4

New Tsar Bell (Sergiev Posad)

Bell tower of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra at the beginning of the 20th century. famous for her 'children'. One of them, 'Tsar Bell', was distinguished by a thick and strong ringing.

The casting took place in 1748 specifically for the monastery by order of Queen Elizabeth Petrovna. In 1759, with the help of three hundred assistants, the 'giant' was hoisted onto the porch.

In January 1930, an anti-religious revolution took place. Bell ringing was prohibited everywhere. 25 bells were thrown from the bell tower of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, among them 'Tsar', 'Godunov' and 'Kornoukhiy'.

In 2000, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexy II, blessed the program for the restoration of the historic Lavra alarm bells, and in 2003, the Firstborn was cast and installed in the bell ringer, and then the Blagovestnik. They are analogous to 'Kornouhoy' and 'Godunov'.

The new 'Tsar' was given a second life at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

Its casting is unique in that it was carried out in nine furnaces. The composition includes such metals as copper and tin.

The new masterpiece is decorated with relief compositions and inscriptions – the history of the bell's creation. Eight names are engraved on the surface. Those are the benefactors who donated funds for the reconstruction of the monument of Orthodoxy.

Weighs 72 tons, diameter – 4.5 meters. It takes four people to swing the tongue.

The 'Tsar' was delivered to Sergiev Posad on a special sleigh. It was necessary to enlarge the gates of the monastery so that the giant could pass through them.

On April 16, 2004, the largest operating bell in Russia was erected on the belfry of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. And on May 30, 2005, five thousand people held their breath then to hear the long-awaited ringing of the resurrected masterpiece.

6th place: 'Chimes' (Japan) – 74 tons

Rating: 4.5

'Chimes' (Japan)

In Japan, in the city of Kyoto, there is a Buddhist temple Chion-In, founded by the monk Honen in 1175. It is the main temple of the Jodo-Shu school, which means 'Pure Land'.

One of its wonders is the 'chime' – a huge 72 ton bell made in 1636. Its 'tongue' is a heavy beam at the ceiling, which the monks have to swing. To make the giant ring, seventeen people help 'talk' him.

The giant hangs on huge rings. Legend has it that before that they could not withstand the weight of a Japanese bell and broke. And only with the help of the masters Musamune and Muramasa for making swords, the miracle of the Tion-In temple did not fall anymore.

The instrument is compared to a watch for a reason. On New Year's Eve 108 alarms are performed. Legend has it that during these blows people are forgiven of their 108 worldly sins.

5th place: Mingun bell (Myanmar) – 90 tons

Rating: 4.6

Mingun Bell (Myanmar

In the 1880s, photographer Felix Beato traveled around Burma. Imagine his surprise when a man saw a gigantic bell, almost completely standing on the ground. Without wasting a minute, the photographer took a picture that flew around the world. This is how people learned about the Mingun bell.

In 1808, the ruler of Burma, Bodopaya, ordered the casters to make a bell, for which he had his own plans. Bodopaya wanted with the help of a new 'favorite' to give the status of the largest temple to the Pathodauji stupa.

The casting of Mingun was carried out according to a precise and strict recipe: gold was added to copper, then silver, then iron, and finally lead. All of this is essential for the instrument's unrivaled sound and durability.

The result is a giant weighing 90 tons and 3.5 meters high. With the hanging loop, all 7 were obtained.

The dome diameter is 5 meters.

The pride of Emperor Bodopaya was established in the city of Myanmar, on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River. To deliver the valuable cargo, two interconnected barges were used. Two canals were laid for a successful operation.

Also, for the purpose of installation, two stone pillars were prepared. Thick logs served as a crossbar. Due to the weight of Mingun, they could not lift for a long time to hang on it. The order was given to wait for the rainy season. When the channels were filled with water, the bell was hung on the crossbar.

The hopes of the ruler of Burma did not come true. At the end of March 1839, there was a terrible earthquake. The pillars collapsed and the bell collapsed. Thanks to the strong alloy, Mingun remained intact, but for many years it stood on the ground, until Felix Beato (who was mentioned at the beginning of the article) took the legendary picture of the bell, which the whole of Europe learned about.

In 1896, the alarm was raised and placed on a steel beam. Remembering the earthquake, the pillars were made of reinforced concrete. A wooden pavilion with a multi-tiered roof was also erected over Mingun.

Since then, Myanmar people and tourists have enjoyed the melodic ringing of the bell. The peculiarity of the giant is that he has no 'language'. Sound is produced with a teak mallet, which anyone can pick up and 'talk' to Mingun about beauty.

4th place: Bell in the Silaysi Monastery (Liuzhou, China) – 109 tons

Rating: 4.7

Bell in Xilaysi Monastery (Liuzhou, China)

If the bells we talked about earlier are historical monuments, then this 'baby' has yet to become such. He is not only one of the largest, but also the youngest giant in our ranking.

In 2009, Xilaisi Monastery, located in Liuzhou, ordered the manufacture of a bell from a Chinese screw factory at the Wuhan Heavy Industry Concern. Before that, the largest alarm was made at the same factory for the Han Shasi Temple in Suzhou.

Work on the creation of another Buddhist monument was in full swing for 11 months.

Two years later, in June, a 'baby' was born weighing 109 tons, 9 meters high and 6.06 meters in diameter.

According to Su Jianguo, secretary of the factory's party committee, prayers are engraved on the dome's surface. Their total size is 92,306 characters

In the summer of 2010, the bell was delivered to Liuzhou.

3rd place: Bell of Happiness (Pingdingshan, China) – 116 tons

Rating: 4.8

The Bell of Happiness (Pingdingshan, China)

Not much is known about this bell. Today it is one of the largest operating alarm bells in the world. Its weight is 116 tons, height – 8 meters, diameter – 5.1 m.

The 'Bell of Happiness', like the previous one in the ranking (located in the Silaysa monastery), is a rather 'young' alarm. It was cast in December 2000 and immediately thereafter installed in a temple called Foquan Temple in Pingdingshan. Next to this building is, by the way, the statue of the Buddha of the Spring Temple – the tallest monument to this deity in the world, 128 meters from the base in the form of a lotus to the top.

Like many other Buddhist bells, Happiness is devoid of language. Instead, they hit him with a special mallet, spreading a booming, but very melodic ringing throughout the surroundings. Numerous hieroglyphs and Buddhist ornaments are engraved on the surface of the bell.

2nd place: Tsar Bell (Moscow) – 203 tons

Rating: 4.9

9The Tsar Bell.

This “giant” never spoke, but is the emperor of the bell towers of Russia.

His 'great-grandfather' was made by a craftsman Andrey Chokhov in 1600. Weighed 40 tons. He managed to serve long enough until he crashed in a fire in the middle of the 17th century.

In 1652, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich ordered to cast a new version. Danila and Emelyan Danilovs take over. A 'grandfather' weighing 130 tons is born. The sound of the 'giant', unfortunately, did not last long. In 1654, during the chiming of Christmas chimes, the 'giant' crashed.

In 1668, master Alexander Grigoriev made the 'father'. Everything seemed to be fine. The strong bell has pleased people with its ringing for more than thirty years. But evil 'rock' touched him too. In 1701, the alarm was burned down by a fire.

In 1730, Empress Anna Ioannovna decided to revive the 'Tsar' to life. Many refuse to work, including the French mechanic Germain.

As a result, the case was entrusted to Ivan Motorin.

On Ivanovskaya Square, a casting pit was dug ten meters deep to form the bell.

Fate seemed to prevent the creation of a 'son'. First there was an accident during the first casting. In 1735 Ivan Motorin died. The case was continued by his son Mikhail.

In the fall of 1735, the work was almost completed. The Tsar weighed 203 tons, its height is 6.6 meters, the diameter of the dome is 6.24 meters.

It only remained to attach the 'tongue'.

The dome was decorated with graceful bas-reliefs with images of Tsar Alexei Romanov and Empress Anna Ionnovna; baroque floral ornament with the saints Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the apostles Peter and John; diamond-shaped mesh with floral motifs. In the center of the lower medallion, the text is carved: 'This bell was poured by the Russian master Ivan Fedorov, son of Motorin, with his son Mikhail Motorin.'

Ironically, the bell could not be pulled out of the casting pit due to its weight. And two years later, a fire broke out, the flame of which also captured the casting pit.

People, fearing that the bell would melt, poured water on it. Due to the temperature difference, a piece weighing 11.5 tons broke off.

For a hundred years the 'Tsar' lay in the pit until 1836. With the help of the most complicated devices, it was possible to get a heavy bell. They put him on a pedestal on Ivanovskaya Square, and put a splinter next to him. The 'tongue' was borrowed from another bell.

Today 'Tsar' is a grandiose historical monument of Russia.

1st place: Great Dhammazedi Bell (Myanmar) – 297 tons

Rating: 5.0

Great Dhammazedi Bell

In the XIII-XVI centuries. the territory of modern Myanmar was occupied by the state of Hantavadi. Its inhabitants, devout Buddhists, faithfully observed the laws of their religion.

The ruler, a former monk named Dhammazedi, decided in 1480 to conduct a population census. Instead of ordering, officials began to collect taxes from citizens.

When this news reached Dhammazedi, he was beside himself with anger. The officials, fearing to lose their heads, assured the ruler that they would invest all the stolen funds in the creation of the largest bell in the world for one of the temples. Dhammazadi could not resist this proposal.

It took several years to prepare for the casting, and by 1484 everything was ready.

Suddenly, the court astrologer intervened. According to his calculations, this time was not favorable for casting. The stargazer advised to postpone the manufacturing time of the alarm, otherwise it simply will not make a sound.

Excited by Dhammazadi and transferred the casting. And yet, when the bell was ready, nobody liked its ringing. According to local legends, the workers disobeyed the ruler by making the bell at the wrong time. Fortunately, over time, the ringing evened out and became clearer.

The dimensions of the 'giant' were amazing. 297 tons of weight. The size is more than six meters. The dome diameter is 3.5 meters. The surface was decorated with precious stones.

The Nabat was placed in the Shwedagon Pagoda, which served as a repository for the relics of the great righteous.

Soon they learned about the Hantavadi treasure in Europe. The traveler from Venice Gasparo Balbi was delighted with the bell, which he wrote in his diary. He paid no less close attention to decorations and inscriptions on the surface of the dome. Some Europeans admired the bell, while others were plotting bad things. The tragedy came from Portugal.

The sailor Filipe de Brito-e-Nicote was known as an adventurer. In the 17th century, he entered the service of the ruler of the Myau-U kingdom, Minyazat. Myaw-U was the eternal rival of the Hantavadi. Brito-e-Nikote quickly assembled an army of locals and Portuguese to conquer southern Myanmar. In 1608, taking advantage of the internecine war in Burma, the Portuguese lifted the alarm. It was planned to be transported by raft to the city of Siriam and melted into cannons.

In the very middle – the confluence of the Bago and Yangon rivers, the raft fell apart and the bell went to the bottom, on which it rests to this day.

According to local stories, higher powers saved the treasure of Myanmar from a tragic end.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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