Add to favorite
 
123
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS


On the History of Bell Ringing in Russia
May 17, 2007 19:23


From times immemorial bells were treated in quite a special way in Old Rus. Many tales and legends would tell about bells’ supernatural abilities, such as foretelling and averting danger.

People used to be born and die, defend their native land and celebrate holidays to the sound of bell ringing. Today the once expansive layer of our culture has to be restored by crumbs actually.

The appearance of bells in this country can rather precisely be dated to the 10th century, the time of christening of Russia. However, one should notice that the merit of bell’s creation does not belong to the Russians.

Even such an expression as “malinovy zvon” (translated as “raspberry ringing” and equal to mellow chime) which seems to be natively Russian, in fact descends from the word “Malines”, the French name of the Belgium town of Mechelen, famed by its forty bells carillon.

 As a story says, the first Christian bells come from Italy. Russia adopted bells together with Christianity. The northern lands of Russia got bells imported from the West, while Kiev acquired bells brought from the Byzantine town of Korsun’ (now Chersonese).

However, the information about bells before the 14th century is very scanty, since the development of the ringing art was for many years broken by the Mongol yoke: many talented masters perished or were taken prisoners; many bells were split or fused during violent assaults and heavy fires.

The revival of the ringing tradition started in the 14th century, yet with an eye turned to the West, where at that time bells and chimes were much more widespread and popular than in the Orthodox East. Italian and later German bell-casters arrived in Russia and brought with them small bells and materials for preparing bell bronze.

For a long time, even after the appearance of the national bell school, Russian churches used “Korsun’s”, or German bells, which rang by means of swinging of the bell itself.

Before raising a bell to the belfry, it was always consecrated by a priest, i.e. the Lord’s blessing and power was asked for it: upon a special hallowing ritual the bell ringing could no longer be empty or futile. When hearing bells chime the folks of olden days would take off their hats and cross themselves to appeal to the Lord’s grace and thank for it.

Lots of Russian tsars liked to ring bells with their own hands and competed in the dimensions of bells cast in honour of their reigning. Common folks ascribed magic powers to bells. There were stories telling that bell ringing warded off devil’s plots, diseases, storms and thunderbolts; that not once a bell rang on its own foretelling a war, starvation or the ruler’s death. They even told that by tsars’ orders bells sometimes were “executed” in public for improper chiming: they were beaten by sticks, cut off the ear and exiled.

Bells helped the Russian people to strengthen their connection with the Creator. They filled churches with an amazing abundance of bells, from small to gigantic ones. In hard times bells were weeping, groaning, and praying about the Russian land and people. When terrible wars and famines were over, nothing could sing the people’s joy better than the powerful triumphant chiming of bells.

Sources:
    justtravel.ru
    rian.ru

Photos:
    agniart.ru
    wikimedia.org
    nortfort.ru

Compiled and translated by Mikhail Manykin and Vera Ivanova


Tags: Russian history     

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

Vanished Towns of Russia: Kitezh Grad Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 2 10 Sensational Archeological Finds of Russia (Part 2) Russian Music in the 18th Century Disintegration of the USSR









Comment on our site


RSS   twitter      submit



TAGS:
Russian cities  Russian rockets  Lipetsk   Russian designers  Sochi Olympic Games 2014  Russian ballet  Exhibitions in Moscow  Russian scientists  Exhibition Fairs  Russian Poets  Fairs in Moscow  BRICS   Alisher Usmanov  Russian economy  Nikolay Zelinsky  Faith No More  Bolshoi Theatre  Kizhi  Konstantin Ernst  Russian Cinema  Russian tourism  Entertainment Center   St. Petersburg  gambling in Russia  Archeological Finds  Russian mobile operators  Internet  Shlisselburg  Vladimir Zworykin  floods in Moscow  Moscow restaurants  Russkiy island  Russian science  Samara tours  Superheroes  Life Saving  Pyotr Konchalovsky  Russian scientist  Russian business  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Parliament in Action  La Pushkin Theatre  Russian businessmen  New Year  Russian history  Vladimir Mashkov  Samuil Lurie  Byudgetny Perevozchik  Transportation  Moscow 


Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites