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7 Jul, 2007 18:50

Solovetsky Monastery’s bells to ring once again

The Solovetsky Monastery – one of oldest in Russia – recently celebrated its 750th birthday. One of presents was a new set of bells for its belfry made at the Voronezh bell casting foundry in Central Russia.

The Solovetsky Monastery was the greatest citadel of Christianity in Russia, before the Soviet authorities turned it into a prison and later a labour camp.

Legend has it that the original bells disappeared in the early 20th century when they were removed for recasting. The monks had long been waiting for the new bells as they'll complete the revival of the monastery.

The new set for monastery's belfry has 23 bells – weighing a total of 32 tons. The largest one was made using ancient Russian craftsmanship. It weights 14 tons.

“It was hard to cast these bells. Each has a unique distinct sound. We had to re-make several bells to make them sound they way they should,” says Viktor Potapov, chief engineer.

Each bell has its own cross and saint engraved upon it, and a crown of thorns to symbolize that the monastery has suffered throughout its history.

The bells will begin their journey to the monastery as soon as the checks are completed, and the monks hope the belfry will be ringing out once again in August following a consecration ceremony.