Last modified on 14 April 2014, at 21:50

Sigismund Bell

If, traveller, the bell seems too big to you, tell me what work of Sigismund is small?
— Andrzej Krzycki

The Royal Sigismund Bell (Polish: Królewski Dzwon Zygmunt or Dzwon Zygmunta) is the largest of the five bells hanging in the Sigismund Tower of the Wawel Cathedral in the Polish city of Kraków. It was cast in 1520 by Hans Behem and named after its patron, Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, who commissioned it. The bell weighs almost 13 tonnes (28 thousand pounds) and requires 12 bell-ringers to swing it. It tolls only on special occasions, mostly religious and national holidays, and is regarded as one of Poland's national symbols.

InscriptionEdit

  • Deo Opt Max ac Virgini Deiparae sanctisque patronis suis divus Sigismundus Poloniae Rex campanam hanc dignam animi operumque ac gestorum suorum magnitudine fieri fecit anno salutis MDXX
    • To the greatest and best God, and to the Virgin Mother of God, the illustrious King Sigismund of Poland had this bell cast to be worthy of the greatness of his mind and deeds in the year of salvation 1520.
    • Latin inscription on the body of the Sigismund Bell
    • Source: The Royal Sigismund Bell. The Wawel Royal Cathedral of St Stanislaus BM and St Wenceslaus M. Parafia Archikatedralna św. Stanisława BM i św. Wacława. Retrieved on 2010-01-18.

Quotes about the Sigismund BellEdit

  • If, traveller, the bell seems too big to you, tell me what work of Sigismund is small?
    • Archbishop Andrzej Krzycki, Primate of Poland
    • Source: Segel, Harold B. (1989). Renaissance culture in Poland: the rise of humanism, 1470–1543. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801422868. 
  • Dzwon królewski:
    Siedziałem u królewskich stóp,
    królewski za mną dwór:
    synaczek i kilka cór,
    Włoszka – a wielki chór
    kleru zawodził hymny;
    a dzwon wschodził.
    Patrzali wszyscy w górę,
    a dzwon wschodził –
    zawisnął u szczytów
    i z wyżyn się rozdzwonił...
    • The royal bell: I sat at the king's feet, the royal court behind me, his son and daughters, the Italian queen – and the great choir behind me chanted hymns, and the bell rose. All looked up and the bell rose – it hung at the top and from up high it rang...
    • Stanisław Wyspiański, Wesele (The Wedding) — Stańczyk, the court jester
    • Source: Wikisource
I sat at the king's feet, the royal court behind me, his son and daughters, the Italian queen – and the great choir behind me chanted hymns, and the bell rose.
— Stanisław Wyspiański
  • Jak długo na Wawelu
    Brzmi Zygmuntowski dzwon;
    Jak długo z gór karpackich
    Rozbrzmiewa polski ton,
    Stać będzie kraj nasz cały,
    Stać będzie Piastów gród;
    Zwycięży Orzeł Biały,
    Zwycięży polski lud!
    • As long as on the Wawel the Sigismund Bell tolls, as long as in the Carpathians resounds a Polish tone, so long our whole country and the town of Piasts will stand; the White Eagle and the Polish people will prevail!
    • Konstanty Krumłowski, Jak długo w sercach naszych (As Long As In Our Hearts)
    • Source: Jasiński, Janusz; Matulewicz, Tadeusz (1988). Polskie pieśni historyczne. Olsztyn: Ośrodek Badań Nauk. im. Wojciecha Kętrzyńskiego. 
  • Ile przeżyć i wspomnień budzi w nas głos tego królewskiego dzwonu! Brzmi w tym uroczystym graniu modlitwa wieków o wolność i pomyślność Ojczyzny, a równocześnie jakieś wezwanie do uwalniania serc od wszystkiego, co jej może szkodzić, i do wznoszenia ducha ku tym wartościom, które nasze pokolenie przejęło ze wspaniałej tradycji ojców.
    • How many emotions and memories arouses the sound of this royal bell! In this ceremonial ringing, resounds the centuries-long prayer for our Fatherland's freedom and felicity, and at the same time, a certain call to free our hearts from everything that might hurt her and to raise the spirit to these values which our generation inherited from the glorious tradition of our fathers.
    • Pope John Paul II, Letter to the Fraternity of Sigismund Bell-Ringers, 1999
    • Source: Gdula, Tomasz (2008-12-27). "Dzwon Zygmunta – spiżowe serce Polski" (in Polish). Nowa Trybuna Opolska (Pro-Media). Retrieved on 2010-01-18. 

External linksEdit

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