The History of the Cathedral Bells

An Overview of the History of the Cathedral Bells:

1035: Bishop Godehard orders for a bell tower to be built in the west of the cathedral and furnishes it with bells.

1046: The first Cantabona bell (approx. 100 hundredweight) is cast.

12th century: More bells are added (presumably in the crossing tower too).

1350: A new Marienglocke (Mary’s bell) of approx. 180 hundredweight is cast by Johannes von Halberstadt.

1590: The Cantabona cracks on New Year’s Day.

1601: The Cantabona (80 hundredweight) is recast by Joachim Schrader from Hannover.

1688: The Marienglocke from 1350 cracks on 5 July.

18th century: Following construction of the new crossing tower, several bells are recast or relocated.

1760/1763: Two bells (Apostolica and Marienglocke), from the years 1733 and 1744 respectively, crack.

1765/66: Five bells are recast by Johann Martin Roth from Mainz.

1796: Three smaller bells are cast by Christoph August Becker (II) from Hildesheim.

1872: The Cantabona from 1601 cracks.

1875: The Cantabona is recast with a weight of approx. 8t by Hermann Große from Dresden.

1942:  Donation of 8 (or 9) bells for armament purposes (including the Cantabona).

1945: On 22 March, the remaining bells (probably excepting from one in the crossing tower) are damaged or destroyed in an air raid. After the war, six bells (also partially badly damaged) return from the Hamburg Glockenfriedhof (bell cemetery).

1960: Recasting of five bells by Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling from Heidelberg. The Apostolica from 1765 is retuned from a0 to as0 and incorporated into the new chimes. The full plan to have twelve bells was not realised due to financial reasons.

2010: The chimes of 1960 are silenced until 2014 while the cathedral is being renovated.

2013: Six more bells are recast by Albert Bachert from Karlsruhe to complete the existing chimes.

2014: Blessing of the new bells on 14 May. The first ringing of all twelve cathedral bells takes place on 15 August.