Update: 10/08/2022 08:45
Issued by: 10/08/2022, 08:45
Prague/Innsbruck – Memorial Bell #9801 for Prague is completed. The ringers cleaned it, mounted the so-called head and heart and performed a tone test. At the moment, the bell is only waiting to be transported to Prague, which should take place in August this year. Ondřej Boháč, bell ringer and chairman of the Sanctus Castulus association, who initiated the creation of the bell, told ČTK. Money initiators collect in public collection. The bell was made by the Grassmayr bell-making workshop of Innsbruck, which also cast the largest Austrian church bell in the world, which is in Bucharest, Romania.
The bell should arrive in Prague in the second half of August. It will be located in the future on Rohan Island, from where the bells requisitioned during the Second World War were taken.
“The surface treatment of the bell has been completed, when the bell ringers cleaned the remains of the mold, cleaned the reliefs and its surface. A wooden larch head was mounted on the bell, from which it will be hung. A tone test was carried out, which turned out to be excellent. The casting is of very high quality and the voice of the bell according to bell ringer Peter Grassmyer, he is extremely successful,” said Boháč.
The bell ringers also created the steel heart of the bell, which weighs approximately 400 kilograms. In the workshop, the bell ringers tried out the already assembled bell – it was the brothers Johannes and Peter Grassmayr who rang it for the first time.
The bell was cast from alloys consisting of 78 percent bronze and 22 percent tin this year on Friday, June 10, and has been cooling in the so-called casting pit ever since. When picked up on June 23, it was still around 70 degrees Celsius. In the following days and weeks, the bell ringers cleaned, sandblasted and removed the remains of the mold.
The bell measures 187 centimeters and weighs 9801 kilograms. The weight was determined based on the number of bells requisitioned during World War II. According to the authors of its design, Kryštof Čižínský and Jakub Kamínek, the main motif of the decoration of bell #9801 is the rebirth of the old and destroyed into the new. The mantle is decorated with fragments of bells that were used in the arms industry during the destruction of the war and the surrounding countries.
The Austrian bell ringer Johannes Grassmayr already appreciated the idea with which the association from Prague came to him during the casting. “We’re fascinated by the idea of making chimes lost in World War II,” he said at the time. According to him, the importance of a similar project has been further strengthened by international developments in recent months. “None of us could have guessed that war would break out in Ukraine. This gave this bell much more symbolism than it had a few months ago,” he said.
The location of the bell on Rohanský ostrov is tentatively planned for 2024, before that the work will be temporarily on a pontoon on the Vltava. According to the earlier statement of Prague’s deputy mayor Petr Hlaváček, the designers who will propose the future form of Rohanské and Libeňský ostrov will count on the bell on Rohanské ostrov.