Florence, November 8, 2021 – Le bells of the Giotto’s Bell Tower a Florence they will not play on November 26 to allow the rotation of the Major Bell said of Santa Riparata or Campanone, built in 1475 in honor of the saint to whom the ancient Florentine Cathedral was dedicated. It is one of the largest active bells in Italy today, with extraordinary measures: a diameter of 2 meters and a height of 210 cm, with a thickness of 15 cm for over 5 tons of weight. It was recast in 1705, after cracks had formed.
The maintenance intervention, commissioned and technically coordinated byWork of Santa Maria of the flower, will be performed by one of the Italian companies with greater experience in this sector, AEI of Perego. It will be a complex but almost invisible intervention, because it was carried out inside the belfry, apart from the days of 8, 9, 25 and 26 November when there will be a crane in the area in front of the bell tower and the monument will be closed to the public for allow the work of handling the bell.
The rotation of a quarter of the Campanone it was necessary because the use has thinned the thickness of the bronze in the points where the clapper strikes. “Once the wear of 10% of the thickness has been exceeded, as in this case – he explains Claudio Perego, owner of AEI – we must intervene because there are many chances that the bell will break ”. This will be the last time the Campanoneit can be rotated, having already been turned on other sides. Once this side has also thinned, the bell will need to be cast again. We don’t know exactly when the Campanone it was last rotated before now, it is supposed to have happened in 1956 – 1957, when it was decided to remake the old wooden belfry by replacing it with a steel one.
Giotto’s Bell Tower is equipped with a total of 12 bells, 5 of which, the oldest, are now disused but still arranged inside the monument, while the other 7, including the Campanone, of different eras and sizes, are functional and together constitutes the so-called Concert. “They play regularly according to an established liturgical canon – he says Monsignor Giancarlo Corti, proposed by the Florentine Metropolitan Chapter. In particular the Campanone it rings every day at 7, 12 and in the evening with a time that varies according to the solar time, calling for prayer “. The Archive of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore preserves a 13th century codex, the Mores et consuetudines canonice of Florence, which also documents the way of ringing the bells according to the liturgical rite.
In addition to Campanone, the other 6 active bells on Giotto’s bell tower are those of the Mercy, built in 1670 and recast in 1830, theapostolic, L’Annunziata, the Mater Dei, L’Assunta andImmaculate, the latter merged between 1956 and 1957. The bells of Giotto’s bell tower are located at a height of 65 meters from the ground, while in ancient times they were about 70.5 meters.
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