Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Maria Dolens: Bell of Peace of Rovereto

The picturesque hill town of Rovereto - City of the Ancient Oak -- lies in the Trentino region of Italy about halfway between Milan and Venice, and almost due north of Verona. It is located in the valley of the Adige River, on the route leading north to the Brenner Pass through the Alps. Now part of Italy, in 1915 it lay within Austria approximately 10 miles from the border and was fought over by both sides in attack and counter-attack. It is the site of Italy's War Museum and the most famous remembrance tradition of the Italian Front of the Great War. 

“Maria Dolens” ("Mary Grieving"), Rovereto’s monumental bell, tolls 100 times every evening at nightfall in remembrance of the fallen of all the wars, of all the nations of the world. It is the largest bell in the world to be rung regularly.

With My 2011 Italian Front Tour Group at Maria Dolens

"Maria Dolens" was the brainchild of the Roveretan Fr. Antonio Rossaro, to honor the fallen of all wars and to invoke peace and brotherhood among all the peoples of the world. It was cast in Trento on the 30 October 1924 with bronze from cannons donated by the nations involved in the First World War. It was inaugurated on 24 May 1925 with the name “Maria Dolens." Recast twice, the current bell  was blessed in Rome in St. Peter’s Square by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on 31 October 1965, then returned to Rovereto and placed on Miravalle Hill overlooking the town.

The bell’s dimension:

    * Height 3.36 m
    * Diameter 3.21 m
    * Weight 22.639 tonnes
    * Clapper weight 600 kilos
    * Weight of supporting beam 10.3 tonnes

1 comment:

  1. Were cannon still made of bronze in the First World War?