Russian Orthodox Church Bells

This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

Church bells at Novgorod

Thanks for sticking around while I was on a blogging recession recently. Since its been over 14 months since I returned from Russia, these pictures are quite dated but I still intend to complete the Russia series and post interesting stories from my travels.

Stored outside the Cathedral of St. Sophia, built in 1052 AD in the little town of Veliky Novgorod (वेलीकी नोव्गोरोद), were a number of old Church bells. The massiveness of these bells struck with me and on touching them I felt a strange kind of buzzing, empty feeling.

All these bells have been decommissioned now, small and efficient electronic bells often taking over their jobs (I don’t know about this particular place), but perhaps one could imagine the glorious old days of Church’s rule when these bells occupied immense importance.

In my previous post, I wrote about the orchestra of bells at Orthodox Churches. Here in Novgorod, we were lucky to catch a little musical show at the bell tower. It seems an important part of tourist infrastructure, as you can buy tickets in advance and climb up the tower to see the orchestra in action.

I thought that these bells were huge, but they are dwarfs compared to the Tsar Bell in Moscow’s Kremlin, which is arguably world’s biggest bell.

Bell ringing in Eastern Orthodox Church (including Russian Orthodox) is complex, with particular bells being rung in particular ways to signify different parts of the services. Russian bells are usually fixed, and are tolled by pulling on a rope that is attached to the clapper so that it will strike the side of the bell. Very interesting to observe that.

This post is part of my Russia travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery