Thursday, May 22, 2008

Campanile #5

Back at the Campanile, no longer looking outwards, but upwards. We were very lucky to be allowed into the bell tower, so we can share with you views which few people have seen.
The Campanile boasts 23 bells, the most in any tower in South Africa (the next one in Gauteng has 10). It is an extremely tight fit up there, even trying to stitch pictures together is impossible, so we can't really show them all, but they are lovely. I love the soft green patina they have acquired over the years.The biggest ones are so thick and heavy that you can't feel the thickness with one hand.
They were donated by prominent citizens, and some of the well known names in our history are embossed on the sides of the bells. We spotted Frederick Korsten (after whom the suburb was named), Sir Rufane and Lady Elizabeth donkin, from the women of Port Elizabeth, the Jewish community, Captain Francis Evatt (this must have also been dedicated to him posthumously by the donor), but many of the smaller bells were attached to the roof and we could not see their sides.

This "bum" view of Max will give you and idea of the scale.


  1. Who did you bribe to be allowed up there. I should try it too. Great to actually see what the clocks look like. Good thing they didn't start ringing while Max was standing up there. Thanks for the treat.

  2. What fascinating photos! I would love to see those bells up close. I can hear them tolling in my head as I'm sitting here.

  3. PS. I linked to you from my blog. I hope you don't mind:

  4. firefly, hehe, ask no questions hear no lies! let's just say we were in the right place at the right time! As we were unlocking the big thick door to the bell tower, they rang and Max literally staggered backwards with the impact of the noise! So we scooted up the ladder and took our photos quickly, because we DEFINITELY didn't want to be caught up there when they rang again!

    Tint... thanks for the link!

  5. Wow, lucky you to get up there. Bells are fascinating and have a life of their own.
    In several churches I have had to give up visiting the bells because of the claustrophobia-inducing spiral staircase.
    Thanks for the virtual tour.