NEWS 2007 – FRANCE back to homepage

 September 23th & 24th 2006 – Birthday Bell Casting Event in Quintal, France

To commemorate the 210th birthday of the first PACCARD bell, cast in 1796 by Antoine Paccard, the PACCARD Museum and Bell Foundry joined the city council of Quintal, a small town in Haute-Savoie, to host this special experience for its citizens – a local Bell Casting Event.
Thanks to the educational workgroups organized by the PACCARD Museum, "Quintali" youth had the opportunity to see, firsthand, what the art of bell casting is all about.


Bell Casting Event in front of dazzled spectators 


The birthday celebration in Quintal was also a celebration of history, as it commemorated the bell founder’s former tradition of on-site bell casting.  "Saintiers," as they were once called, used to travel to a client’s town and cast a bell in front of the church, right at the base of the tower that would be used to house the bell.  This was done primarily for the bell founder’s convenience (cast bronze bells are extremely heavy!).  Eventually, the industrial revolution eliminated the need for local casting, and the practice was stopped.


In addition to the casting event, the Quintal Bell Casting Celebration was a two-day event that featured technical and educational discussions, hands-on activities, and concerts.  This once-in-a-lifetime celebration will mark the collective memory of Quintali citizens for many years to come.
Bell casting events can also be scheduled in the United States through our U.S. partner, Christoph Paccard Bell Foundry.  To learn more about organizing a bell casting event in the U.S., please visit the Christoph Paccard web site.

Both young and old participated in the process, while many parents enjoyed watching their children make wax inscriptions.  Participants learned about the bell making process, how bells are tuned, traditional uses for bells, and they also enjoyed hearing the story and history of the PACCARD Bell Foundry.

The two-day birthday celebration was enhanced further by several performances of vocal works accompanied by the 19-bell ARS SONORA® shown here.This beautiful musical sculpture traveled to Quintal from the PACCARD Bell Museum, where it can be seen and heard as part of a special tour.


Pierre Paccard, explaining the bell-making process to a large audience

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