Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Bell founding at the Bachert bell foundry in Karlsruhe. Image: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Robert Mehl
STATELY BELL FOUNDING

A BELL FOR THE MONASTERY

CHURCH

The founding of a new bell was an impressive conclusion to the extensive restoration work carried out in the monastery church. Since June 2013, the 120 kg bell has hung from the small ridge turret. The large medieval bell was given a new home in the monastery church.

Maulbronn Monastery, monastery church with ridge turret. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl

The monastery church with ridge turret.

A HISTORIC BELL FOUNDING

For everyone present, the founding of the new bell was a poignant experience. The dark factory floor was lit only by the glow of liquid metal. The technique has not changed much since the Middle Ages. Only the bell founders and their futuristic-looking shiny protective clothing seem modern. The Bachert bell foundry, where the bell was created, also has a long tradition: They have been founders in Karlsruhe since 1725.

Finishing touches on the new bell. Image: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Robert Mehl

Detailed work on the new bell.

THE WEIGHT WAS CRITICAL

Compared to the old bell, the Bachert bell is a lightweight: It only weighs 120 kg. This is a necessity, since the old bell was far too large and heavy for the small ridge turret where it hung after 1945. That bell's weight of 300 kg caused damage to the tower. The new bell has a diameter of 540 mm and was poured with a nominal strike tone A". This strike tone fits perfectly with the rest of the chimes in the church.

A NEW LIFE FOR AN OLD BELL

The old bell, however, is hardly scrap metal. It is especially worth saving because it is likely the oldest bell in the Enz district and was poured by master Cunrad von Fulda in the second half of the 13th century. It currently hangs below a small ridge turret in the nave, but a new belfry and bell cage have been built for it. The window in the west gable will act as the sound opening. This space protects the precious bell from the elements and it can still be rung for special occasions.

Old bell hanging from the small ridge turret. Image: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Robert Mehl
Historic bell in its new belfry. Image: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg

The historic bell, formerly hanging from the small ridge turret, is housed in the new belfry.

TIPP

 The inscription on the old bell reads, in translation: "Conrad von Fulda has created me, Blessed Virgin, may you hear in me your constant praise and not turn away from us."