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Largest bell in the world located at Kremlin

By Catholic Online
October 11th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The world's largest bell, the Tsar Bell is on the grounds of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Commissioned at the bequest of the niece of Peter the Great, Empress Ann Ioanovna, the bell has weathered the test of time - and to the faithful, will play a very important part on Judgment Day.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The difficulty in casting such a large bell was blamed for the death of the father of the Motorin family team of Russian craftsmen, who made the bell after a fire destroyed the derrick that was to lift the bell from its cast. A second fire ravaged the area surrounding the bell in 1737, and the heat from it caused a portion of the bell to shatter.

The eleven-ton broken piece lies beside the bell's pedestal today. The bronze bell is estimated to weigh between 200 and 216 tons and stands more than 20 feet high with a diameter of 21.6 feet. It is sometimes referred to as the Royal Bell or Tsar Kolokol III ("Tsar Bell").

The bell has never been rung - after the second fire, a huge slab (11.5 tons) cracked off while it was still in the casting pit.

For a portion of its history, the bell served as a small chapel with people entering and exiting the large opening created when it shattered.

According to a National Public Radio special on the bell, some Old Believers believe that on Judgment Day, it will be miraculously repaired and lifted up to heaven, where it will ring the blagovest, or call to prayer.

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