Westerkirk Carillon - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 52° 22.470 E 004° 53.006
31U E 628210 N 5804361
Quick Description: Westerkerk is a Dutch Protestant cathedral in central Amsterdam, built between 1620 to 1631 .
Location: Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Date Posted: 6/21/2013 10:51:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMHBZQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 35

Long Description:
The Church's website (visit link) has these brief comments about the carillon:


The Westertoren has often been the subject of Amsterdam croon songs and is even mentioned in Anne Frank's famous diary. During summer, the tower is open to the public up to the first level.


Standing 85 metres tall, the famous 'Ouwe Wester' is Amsterdam's highest church tower. The steeple with its imperial crown was built in 1638. Until 2006, the imperial crown had a golden yellow colour. When restoration works were carried out in 2006 and 2007, the tower was given a historically more appropriate colour scheme. The most striking element is the bright, blue-coloured crown. In 1906, celebrating Rembrandt's year of birth 300 years earlier, the colour of the crown was changed from blue to golden yellow. In the "Rembrandt year" 2006, exactly one hundred years later, the colour was restored to its original blue.


The Westertoren carillon can be heard several times a day. It can be played by hand and the bells were made by François Hemony. Boudewijn Zwart is the regular performing artist playing the carillon.


Leading up to a service in the Westerkerk you will hear the bells ringing. Have a thought for the bell-ringers, a group of volunteers from the Westerkerk congregation, who are ringing the bells by hand."
(visit link) permits you to download ringtones from the carillon...and also provides this history:

"About the bell makers

The brothers François and Pieter Hemony were the most important and famous casters of bells and producers of carillons in their time. They produced the first pure sounding set of bells and thus transformed the carillon it to a serious musical instrument. Between 1642-1679 they would produce 51 carillons.

François was born around 1609 in Levécourt in Lorraine (France). His brother Pieter was born 10 years later. The Hemony family were clock casters who, during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), travelled through Europe to cast artillery and bells. Their father went to Germany, where François casted his first bells in 1636.

In 1641 the brothers cast their first bells in the Netherlands, namely for the town of Goor. In 1642 they got the commission to cast a set of bells in Zutphen. It became a success and they made an additional 13 sets for Zutphen.

In 1655 François Hemony was invited by the city of Amsterdam to settle there, under favorable terms, as a caster of artillery and bells and to cast the carillons of the Oude, Zuider- and Westerkerk. Thanks to their special methods of casting they were able to conceive very pure tones from the bells. Hemony only settled in 1657 with his family in a free standing house at the edge of the city, nowadays the Leidsegracht. The unmarried Pieter settled in the Belgium city of Gent.

The casting company of Hemony was situated within the city borders, at the Molenpad (Mills path, between Prinsengracht and Leidsegracht) From here Hemony casted 20 sets of bells including several for foreign cities such as Antwerp, Gent, Mainz, Hamburg, Stockholm etc.

Hemony also casted six statues for the new city hall at Dam square, that were designed by the sculptor Artus Quellinus (1609-1668). In 1664 Pieter joined his brother in Amsterdam. Together they executed several commissions. During the Second English Naval War (1665-1667), they casted mainly artillery.

François Hemony was buried on May 24th 1667 and his brother became the guardian of his two children. Pieter remained unmarried. The Hemony's were Catholics and remained so.

Pieter would continue work until his death on February 17th 1680 and produced another 10 sets of bells thus making a total of 51 sets that the brothers Hemony produced.

The importance of the Hemony brothers lies in the fact that they transformed the rather primitive bells that existed until their time into a mature musical instrument and their work can be admired in many European cities as well in many Dutch towns. They produced in Amsterdam carillons for the Zuiderkerk (1656; these were still cast in Zutphen since Hemony only settled in Amsterdam in 1657), Oude Kerk (1658) and Westerkerk (1658) but also for the Commerce tower (1653), which was moved to the Munt tower in 1668) and for the new city hall on Dam square (1664). But also in Haarlem, Groningen, Utrecht and Maastricht can we find bells from Hemony as well as in several other Dutch towns (Enkhuizen, Zaltbommel, 's-Hertogenbosch, Delft, Kampen, Amersfoort etc.).

The set of bells for the Westertoren became the biggest of Amsterdam with 50 bells. The heaviest weighed 2.000 kilos."

This website
Prinsengracht 281
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands Netherlands
1016 GW

Who controls the carillon?: Westerkirk...see above

Number of bells: 50

Schedule of regular public performances:
7 times a day

Year of construction: 1/1/1658

Structure: Westerkirk (church)

Location web page: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
An original photograph of the carillon is required. One of you and your crew doing your very best imitation of Quasimodo and/or Esmeralda will be most appreciated.
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