Romania's Redemption Cathedral will have one of the biggest bells in the world. It has 25 tons and its sound could be heard in half of Bucharest. The 3.3 meters tall and 3.3 meters wide bell, which cost some EUR 425,000, has the portrait of Patriarch Daniel, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Patriarchal Cross and Star engraved on it.
The bell was manufactured in Innsbruck, Austria, at the Grassmayr plant, where a delegation of the Patriarchy went to bless it while it was being cast. It will reach the country in mid-May, according to Trinitas TV, the news channel of the Romanian Patriarchy.
It is the first of the six bells the cathedral will be fitted with, the others being smaller. The total cost of the six bells amounts to EUR 550,000.
Representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church say that the imprint of Patriarch Daniel’s portrait is a tradition, motivated by the importance of his gesture as the cathedral's spiritual maker.
“It is not a gesture of pride, as some people are trying to suggest. It is a hidden mark where no gaze can ever reach, knowing where the bells are set,” the Patriarchy’s spokesperson told News.ro. The imprint of the portrait is located on the exterior of the bell of the Redemption’s Cathedral.
The People’s Redemption Cathedral, the largest church to be built in Romania, is located near the Parliament’s Palace. The Cathedral could be consecrated on November 30, 2018, one day before Romania celebrates 100 years since the Great Union. November 30 is the day of Saint Andrew, Romania's patron-saint.
The cathedral is currently 70% done and should be completed in 2024. When finalized, it will be 120-meters tall. It has been projected to last for 500 years and to withstand earthquakes as powerful as 8.5 degrees on the Richter scale. It also has six atomic bunkers at its underground level, each capable of taking in some 300 people if needed.
It is 120 meters long and 67 meters wide and it will be able to take in some 5,000 people. The total cost amounts to over EUR 80 million, of which some EUR 65 million has been spent so far, the money coming from the Romanian Orthodox Church's own funds and from donations. Some EUR 25 million is still needed to finalize the construction, according to the Romanian Patriarchy's spokesman Vasile Banescu, quoted by Mediafax.
The cathedral's interior will not be painted and the drawings will be made of mosaic, which is more resistant. The mosaics will reproduce classic scenes from the Bible as well as the figures of less known Romanian saints.
As for the 25-ton bell, the Patriarchy's representative says it will not bother anyone, as it will not be rung recklessly.
"The cathedral's biggest bell is one of the biggest in Europe, if not the biggest, and its size is justified by the cathedral's dimension. It's a powerful bell, but nobody will ever be bothered by it. Its ringing will be electronically adjusted," Banescu explained.
(Opening photo source: Glockengießerei Grassmayr on Facebook)