Saint Peter's bell
A church bell is a bell which is rung in a church either to signify the hour or the time for worshippers to go to church, perhaps to attend a wedding, funeral, or other service...
(orig. German: St. Petersglocke, referred to in the Kölsch dialect as Decke or Dekke Pitter and in common parlance as Dicker Pitter i.e. Fat or Big Peter) is the largest bell in Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site...
. It was cast in 1923 by Heinrich Ulrich in Apolda
Apolda is a town in central Thuringia, Germany, the capital of the Weimarer Land district. It is situated in the center of the triangle Weimar - Jena - Naumburg near the river Ilm, c. 15 km east by north from Weimar, on the main line of railway from Berlin via Halle, to...
and hangs in the belfry
A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...
of the south tower. With a weight of approximately 24,000 kg, a clapper weighing ~700 kg and a diameter
In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle...
of 322 cm, it is the largest (horizontally-mounted) freely-swinging ringable bell in the world.
The predecessor of the bell was the Emperor's Bell (orig. German: Kaiserglocke) or Gloriosa (Glorious) of 1875 which at 27,180 kg was even heavier than the St. Peter's bell. In 1918 it was melted down, because the sound was inappropriate to the rest of the peal. Its metal was used for war purposes.
Manufactured over 560 years ago the Pretiosa (Precious) bell is one of the oldest Christian church bells and is the number two bell in the belfry of the south tower of Cologne cathedral. It was cast in 1448 by Christian Cloit and Heinrich Brodermann in Cologne.
On January 6th, 2011, the approximately 800 kg clapper of the bell broke and dropped on the floor below. Since it cannot be repaired, a new one will have to be cast.