Ringing the bells for peace during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

What better way to celebrate the International Day of Peace during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 than by ringing the bells together and sharing our intangible cultural heritage in Europe? For this occasion, the German Cultural Heritage Committee (DNK), one of Europa Nostra’s main partners for the Year, developed the “Ringing the Bells” initiative and called on all bell owners to join in and ring the bells at the same time all over Europe.

On 21 September from 18.00 until 18.15 CET, bells across the continent answered this call: from the Town Hall in the 2017 European Capital of Culture, Aarhus (Denmark) to the Emperor William Memorial Church in Berlin (Germany) and the Micalet’s Tower of Valencia’s Cathedral (Campaners de la Catedral de València) (Spain). The map and further information about all participating bells is available here.

In Europa Nostra’s hometown of The Hague (The Netherlands), participants were invited to attend a very special carillon concert at the Peace Palace. Opened in 1913, this symbolic place embodies the values of peace and justice in Europe and was awarded the European Heritage Label. During the concert at the Peace Palace, the carrillionist Mrs Van der Weel also played the “Ode to Joy” as a contribution to the #Ode2Joy Challenge, which was launched by Europa Nostra during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Secretary General of Europa Nostra Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović was among the attendees at this moving concert.

Ringing the bells was not only a celebration of shared heritage but also of lasting peace in Europe. 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. We also remember the devastating Thirty Years’ War that began in 1618 and ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia.

Did you record any bell ringing?
If yes, you can participate and send your recording to this project:

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