Mechanism Controlling the Carillon of Bruges' Belfry, Belgium

    Newer Older

    The carillon of Bruges' Belfry is a "concert carillon". Its 47 different bells have a range of 4 octaves. More information as to carillons see at wikipedia.

    On the layer below the clockwork there is a keyboard console for the carillon. The mechanism controlling the automatic play of the carillon by cogwheels and a metal drum (18th century) with pines looks interesting - see photos!

    You can listen to samples of the CD "The Belfry Bells of Bruges"

    There is also a very nice poem on Bruges' Carillon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882):


    In the ancient town of Bruges,
    In the quaint old Flemish city,
    As the evening shades descended,
    Low and loud and sweetly blended,
    Low at times and loud at times,
    And changing like a poet's rhymes,
    Rang the beautiful wild chimes
    From the Belfry in the market
    Of the ancient town of Bruges.

    Then, with deep sonorous clangor
    Calmly answering their sweet anger,
    When the wrangling bells had ended,
    Slowly struck the clock eleven,
    And, from out the silent heaven,
    Silence on the town descended.
    Silence, silence everywhere,
    On the earth and in the air,
    Save that footsteps here and there
    Of some burgher home returning,
    By the street lamps faintly burning,
    For a moment woke the echoes
    Of the ancient town of Bruges.

    But amid my broken slumbers
    Still I heard those magic numbers,
    As they loud proclaimed the flight
    And stolen marches of the night;
    Till their chimes in sweet collision
    Mingled with each wandering vision,
    Mingled with the fortune-telling
    Gypsy-bands of dreams and fancies,
    Which amid the waste expanses
    Of the silent land of trances
    Have their solitary dwelling;
    All else seemed asleep in Bruges,
    In the quaint old Flemish city.

    And I thought how like these chimes
    Are the poet's airy rhymes,
    All his rhymes and roundelays,
    His conceits, and songs, and ditties,
    From the belfry of his brain,
    Scattered downward, though in vain,
    On the roofs and stones of cities!
    For by night the drowsy ear
    Under its curtains cannot hear,
    And by day men go their ways,
    Hearing the music as they pass,
    But deeming it no more, alas!
    Than the hollow sound of brass.

    Yet perchance a sleepless wight,
    Lodging at some humble inn
    In the narrow lanes of life,
    When the dusk and hush of night
    Shut out the incessant din
    Of daylight and its toil and strife,
    May listen with a calm delight
    To the poet's melodies,
    Till he hears, or dreams he hears,
    Intermingled with the song,
    Thoughts that he has cherished long;
    Hears amid the chime and singing
    The bells of his own village ringing,
    And wakes, and finds his slumberous eyes
    Wet with most delicious tears.

    Thus dreamed I, as by night I lay
    In Bruges, at the Fleur-de-Ble,
    Listening with a wild delight
    To the chimes that, through the night
    Bang their changes from the Belfry
    Of that quaint old Flemish city.

    Matt Cline, Scott Foy, deu49097, and 18 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. N. Mexico 110 months ago | reply

      Wow! All of the information you've given regarding the bells is so interesting!

    2. _ Krystian PHOTOSynthesis (wild-thriving) _ 110 months ago | reply

      Very interesting, thanks for Words and Pikture.

    3. neilbert 110 months ago | reply

      I like this shot. Cool side by side. Like the bw as it adds to the "oldness" if the setting, with the metal and all. Cool stuff.

    4. Paco_MUC 99 months ago | reply

      Großartig. Unheimlich beeindruckend.

      Seen in your Interestingness set. (?)

    5. amebina 66 months ago | reply

      very interesting shot

    6. tokek belanda (very busy) 65 months ago | reply

      Amazing shot! This is new to me. One of my music teachers played carillons by hand, he had callus on the edges of his hands due to that. I'd love to see this mechanism at work too, very interesting!

    7. Cecilia Condal 64 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Metallic Objects~Admin Invite Only! Post 1 - Comment 1, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    8. jimsam1 [deleted] 64 months ago | reply

      When a mechanic and machinists were masters of thier crafts..........
      Great shot..........................

      metallicobjects comment
      Seen in:
      Metallic Objects (Post1 / Award 1)

    9. Cecilia Condal 64 months ago | reply

      So interesting

      If you have more metallic objects please feel free to request an invite.

      metallicobjects comment

    10. fotomie2009 64 months ago | reply

      very interesting ! nowadays with only electronic gadgets, mechanicals ones are quite abandoned, nice to see this one operating !
      mooving the mouse up and down we can see the cog-wheel rotating ;-)


    11. Alessio Undini 64 months ago | reply

      Bellissimo documento! Bello il bianco e nero che dona all'immagine fascino per la storia del Carillon!

    12. Alessio Undini 64 months ago | reply


    13. minminatmidnight 64 months ago | reply

      Sehr eindrucksvoll! Super schwarzweiss Abbildung, tolles Licht und Details! :D

    14. Ranulf 1214 29 months ago | reply

      Magnificent job
      Have a nice evening !

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts