Roland the Alarm Bell

In my last post I mentioned that the largest bell in the municipal belfry of Ghent, Belgium—called Roland—signaled the beginning of the Brabant Revolution with its tolling in 1789. The role of Roland as an alarm bell for the liberty of all of Flanders actually dates back much earlier—to 1537.* At that time, present-day Belgium […]

Belgian Bells to Stanford

The folks at Stanford rhapsodized about their bells even before they had arrived! This poem was published in the Stanford Illustrated Review, vol. 42, no. 8 in 1941. The carillon was installed later that year in the spring, and it was obtained from the Belgian exhibition at the New York World’s Fair in 1939-40. “The […]