We live just down the street from the Domtoren (Cathedral Tower) in Utrecht, the tallest church tower in Holland. That means we are constantly hearing the sounds of the 17th-century carillon, the set of 13 bells inside the tower weighing between 880 and 1,800 pounds each.
The bells ring every hour and, on the weekends, special tunes are played by the old-fashioned sounding Utrecht Klokkenluiders Gilde. This took some getting used to on my first Saturday in Utrecht.
The Dutch must be big on bells because I hear them all the time. It puts cheer in the air and a spring in your step when you’re walking about town. When I went to Haarlem on market day, the central square was reverberating with a crescendo of bells for a full half hour… I started to go a bit loopy and recite Edgar Ellen Poe to myself.
To the rolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells –
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.