Cathedral for art and history

The Bells

The South tower is home to Notre-Dame’s largest bell, known as the Emmanuel Bell. It is sounded for major holidays like Christmas, Easter, Whitsunday, or All Saint’s Day, or for important events, for example, the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of his successor Benedict XVI. The Emmanuel Bell was cast over three hundred years ago and was named by its godfather Louis XIV. It weighs 13 tons, and its tongue, the inner part of the bell that strikes its walls to make sounds, weighs 500 kilos. The North Tower is home to four bells rung daily to indicate the cathedral’s services and the time. They each weigh between 2,000 and 3,000 kilograms. These bells give rhythm to believers’ daily lives, calling them to prayer and indicating a solemn call to services. They were once used to inform people of the time. Today, everyone has a watch, but the bells still continue to ring the hour, showing that the cathedral is a Living place.

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