People can contribute to the creation of a replicable bell to commemorate thousands of Czech church and tower bells stolen, and melted down by the Nazis in summer 1942, from which they made weapons.
The bell will weigh 9,801 kilograms and be located on Rohanský Island. The bell will be the second largest in the metropolis after Sigismund’s bell and is an initiative of the Sanctus Castulus association, the initiators of the project told the press today.
“The bell has been a part of our culture since the early Middle Ages to the present day. It plays not only a signal but also a social role. The bells are associated with many important events in our history and many destinies. Therefore, war requisitions meant not only the devastation of bells, but also society and human ties, “said Ondřej Boháč, chairman of the Sanctus Castulus association.
The location on Rohanský Island is tentatively planned for 2024, after which the bell will be taken care of by the capital, where the initiative wants to donate it.
The project was supported last year by the Committee for Culture of the Prague City Hall, and according to Boháč, it has the support of the current representatives of the metropolis. It will be further discussed with the future political representation at the municipality.
According to the association’s representatives, the weight of the bell was determined on the basis of the number of bells that were taken from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to Hamburg war factories in the summer of 1942.
The location of the bell and the new bell tower, i.e. Rohanský Island, were also chosen on the basis of historical events.
The bells were grouped from different parts of the country under the Libeň Bridge in Prague at the dock in Maniny, from where they were transported to Germany by ship.
The nearly ten-ton bell should measure 187 centimetres and the lower diameter of the bell should be 258 centimetres. It will be possible to ring the bell manually using a motor, while four bells will be needed to swing the bell.
The casting of the new bell is planned for May this year in the Grassmayr workshop in Innsbruck, Austria, and should arrive in Prague at the end of summer. Until Rohanský Island is revitalized, the bell will be temporarily placed on a pontoon on the Vltava.
The initiative wants to raise funds for the production of the bell through a public collection, to which it is possible to contribute from February.