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Frankfurt's Great City Bells can only be heard at home this Christmas season

12.11.2020 | 14:07 Clock | Citywhispers
Frankfurt's Great City Bells can only be heard at home this Christmas season

It is one of the traditions that simply belong to the Christmas season in Frankfurt: The Great City Ringing, which is traditionally heard on the Saturday before the 1st of Advent, as well as on Christmas Eve in the city center. An online version had already been offered at Easter and Whitsun to encourage as many people as possible to stay at home. But precisely because the city bells attract so many people to the Römerberg, especially on Christmas Eve, the church bells will unfortunately remain silent this Advent season. A difficult decision, which is unfortunately necessary for mayor and head of the church Uwe Becker due to the high Corona infection figures:

"The Great City Ringing has a long tradition in Frankfurt and the walk and the lingering on this worldwide unique sound path is part of the pre-Christmas time for many Frankfurt citizens. Corona means that our great Frankfurt tradition unfortunately cannot be performed live this year. However, I would like to make it possible for people to at least enjoy the sounds of our inner city churches at home. Thus, the ringing of our church bells can also warm the hearts of the Frankfurt people online," Becker explained on Tuesday, November 10.

Online yes, but not live as well, as at Easter, for example, in parallel. That will make many Frankfurters and Frankfurters sad. But Becker hopes that this urban tradition will be maintained in as many living rooms as possible and for once in this unusual way for the special sense of community that the Great City Ringing triggers in many. "Even though these are recordings, perhaps the Great City Chime can nevertheless create a special sense of togetherness. On the website of the city of Frankfurt am Main as well as on Facebook, the Great City Ringing will be sounded on the Saturday before the First Advent as well as on Christmas Eve, as is tradition, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and we can all experience it together at home," Becker emphasized.

The current composition goes back to the bell expert Professor Paul Smets, who composed the ringing in 1954. However, the first ringing of all Frankfurt's bells dates back to 1347. The first bell is the civic bell of St. Paul's Church. It is followed by the other five bells of St Paul's Church. This is followed by the four bells of St. Catherine's Church on the Hauptwache, and then the five bells of the Church of Our Lady. North of the Liebfrauchenkirche, the four bells of St. Peter's Church and the three bells of the Dominican Monastery ring out. With its six bells, the Leonhardskirche on the Main joins in as well as the four bells from the Kamiliterkloster, which also belong to the Great City Ringing. The four bells of the Alte Nikolaikirche on the Römerberg complete the composition before the southernmost Dreikönigskirche on the other side of the Main joins the city ringing with its five bells. The climax is reached with the nine bells of the Kaiserdom. Among them is the Gloriosa, Frankfurt's most famous bell. At 11,950 kilograms, it is the heaviest of the bells in Frankfurt's inner city churches and the second heaviest bronze bell in Germany. In total, the 50 bells of the ten inner-city churches together weigh 64,804 kilograms.

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