St. Matthew 11,15:  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 

Vivos voco. Mortuos plango. The living I call. The dead I mourn.

The belltower

The roof of the tower was renewed ANNO, abbreviated AO. (= Latin: in the year) 1688, the part of the tower below the roof must be older. Like the remaining part of the church building it is made of rough stones. The square tower with a tapering roof is thatched with slate. Below the roof you can read the following inscription: "NOMEN DOMINI TVRRIS FORTISSIMA". Translated from the the Latin language this means: "The name of the Lord is the solidest tower." Both bells hanging in the tower ring in the notes H und G sharp. The motto "PRAY AND WORK" which is to be read on the little bell is the German form of the Latin monk's rule of the Benedictines' monastic order "ORA ET LABORA". On the big bell you read: "CHRIST IS OUR LIFE". On the upper edge of both bells is the name of the bellfoundry to be read: "GEG. V. BOCHUMER VEREIN I. BOCHUM 1923". On a beam behind the bells is carved in in big letters: ANNO d. GOTT MIT VNS (Photo down below!)
 
The portal side of the church with look on the belltower




For to see the enlarged inscription click on the photo, please!

NOMEN DOMINI TVRRIS FORTISSIMA PROV. 18. AO. 1688

 The name of the Lord is the solidest tower.

PROV as abbreviation for the Book of Proverbs

[lat.: LIBER PROVERBIORUM]

Bible (O.T.), Book of Proverbs 18,10


In the "Vulgata" which is the Latin translation of the holy Hieronymus, the complete text reads as follows: turris fortissima nomen Domini ad ipsum currit iustus et exaltabitur (The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.) This complete quotation is to be read as inscription on the "Little Clock Bell" of the Frankfurt cathedral St. Bartholomew.



© historisches museum frankfurt (Ph00739), Foto: Leonhard Kleemann



The visible part of the inscription at the upper edge of the bell:

Inscription of the year of bell-founding under the heraldic figure of Frankfurt:

Luther's German translation says: The name of the Lord is a strong castle; the righteous runs to it and is protected. This translation reminds the reader at once of the hymn: "A safe stronghold our God is still".

The same shortened quotation as in Schönborn stands by the way as circumscription in the upper semicircle of the obverse of the silver coin called "Frankfurter Konventionstaler" produced in 1772 (MDCCLXXII) on which under the triangle of Trinity with surrounding rays of light on the left side the Church of St. Lionheart with the Lionheart's Tower, the Frankfurt Cathedral as well as the Pensions Tower and on the right one the Holy Ghost Church (Dominican Monastery) of the district "Sachsenhausen" are to be seen. The elevation in the background suggests the highlands of the "Spessart". On the lower half of the coin the Old "Main" Bridge and the river "Main" driven on by boats are portrayed. On the reverse the straightened and crowned eagle of the free imperial city is shown. Here the circumscription read as follows: MONETA REIPVBL• FRANCOFVRT • AD LEGEM CONVENTIONIS
The short quotation "Nomen..." at first appears on «Dukaten» of the year 1633 and then from time to time on nearly all higher nominals of the town. The devout verse was almost a kind of coin motto of Frankfurt and with it also a motto of the town itself.



The church spire

(old execution, now fastened to the outer wall of the church)
















Founding:1877/Dresden

Weight: 689,5 kg

Diameter: 102 cm

Pitch: tone g sharp



















Line of vision: up the river
Because in 1917 the parish had to hand over their big bronze bell for the arms production during the war two new steel bells were ordered at the firm called "Bochumer Verein für Bergbau (= mining)". The bells were founded in 1923 but the French occupying power forbidded the sending off. So the bells arrived in Zollhaus not until 31st December 1923. The agreed price were 45930 RM (reichsmark = old German mark).Because of the progressive inflation further  43 billions for the freight had to be payed to the "Reichsbahn" (old German railway company) and 30 billions freight costs until the installation on the tower in January 1924 by the Protestant parish (a note of the parish priest Dittmer in 1960). On both bells you can read at the upper edge : GEG.(OSSEN) V.(OM) BOCHUMER VEREIN I.(N) BOCHUM 1923. / Founded by the "Bochumer Verein" (= name of the bellfoundry) in Bochum 1923.
The little bell
is the bell that is rung during the praying of the Lord's prayer.

It also rings at 7.00 a.m, 11.00 a.m. and at 6.00 p.m.

Pitch: tone H

Weight: 430 kg

Outside diameter below: 92 cm

Inscription: BETE UND ARBEITE (PRAY AND WORK)
The big bell
is rung before the beginning of a funeral service.

Besides it is rung two hours and one hour before the public worships.

Pitch: tone G sharp

Weight: 769 kg

Outside diameter below: 110 cm

Inscription: CHRISTUS IST UNSER LEBEN (CHRIST IS OUR LIFE)
For to hear the sound of the bell(s) click on the corresponding photo, please!

ANNO d. GOTT MIT VNS


The renovation of the steeple (church tower) in September/October 2008
Photos: W. Jakupka, 21.9.2008


A kestrel which feels well in and on the steeple


Friedrich Schiller: Song of the Bell (excerpt)
translated by Marianna Wertz ©

And be her purpose thus fulfilled,
For which the Master did her build:

On high above low earthly living,

Shall she in heav'n's blue tent unfurl'd,

Be thunder's neighbour, ever-pending,

And border on the starry world,

A single voice from high she raises

Like constellations' band so bright,

Which its creator wand'ring praises,

And leads the wreathéd year a-right.

Alone to grave, eternal singing

Her metal mouth be consecrate,

And hourly with all swiftness winging,

Shall she be moved by time in flight,

Her tongue to destiny is lending,

Herself has heart and pity not,

With nothing but her swing attending

The game of life's e'er-changing lot.

And as the ring in ears is passing

Sent by her mighty sounding play,

So let her teach, that naught is lasting,

That all things earthly fade away.

For this compare "Ach wie flüchtig" !

 

About the Meaning of the Word "Glocke"

The bells which were imported from North Africa to Italy in the 6th century spread quickly in the rest of Europe. Mainly in Ireland elaborate bells for use in services were produced. In the course of missionary activity by Irish monks the Teutons got to know these bells and adopted with the object the word, too.
Mhd. glocke, ahd. glocca, clocca, mDutch. klocke (borrowed from this word is the English noun clock "Uhr"), Swedish klocka, aengl. clucge, mlat.-roman. clocca (notice the French "cloche") are based on a Celtic cloc (= ir. clocc) "Glocke, Schelle", which has a sound imitating origin.

The first bell of the world pulled by a rope was installed in Tours (France) in the year 580.
Electric ringing machines exist since about the beginning of the 20th century. In the cathedral of Cologne for the first time was rung in 1904.

The oldest church bell of Germany - the Lullusglocke - is located in the ruin of the religious foundation of Bad Hersfeld.

Big Bells
[In this connection you think automatically of the (German) saying "etwas an die große Glocke hängen". In English that means "to shout s.th. from the roof-tops".

Nôtre-Dame de Paris (Paris): 1680 12800 kg
Stephansdom in Wien (Vienna): 1771 19800 kg
Peterskirche in Rom (Rome): 1775 15700 kg
Dom zu Köln (Cologne): 1923 24500 kg

The present biggest sounding bell of the world might be the "Mingun-Bell" that's hanging in Burma. The bell is called so because of its place of installation. It's said that its weight is 96000 kg and it is rung still today.

 

Ringing because of the Weather

When a thunderstorm came closer in the past centuries it was the use to ring the bells in order to protect from fire that caused fires and from hail which destroyed the harvest. This tradition is still in the habit of doing in the Bavarian Alps.


The inscription of the oldest bell of the church in Klingelbach (> sound of the bell) dated from the year 1465 ends with the words: "... alle bose weder vor driben ich", in modern German: "all bad weathers I drive away".