A Select List of Russian Bells Weighing 36,100 Pounds (1,000 Puds) or More, with Comparative Weights of Some of the Largest Bells of Asia, Western Europe, and North America
(After Edward V. Williams, The Bells of Russia: History & Technology (Princeton Univ. Press: 1985), pp. 183-185.)
NOTE: Sources vary considerably in the weights they cite for the world's largest bells. The figures given hereshould in most cases be regarded as approximate. All of the listed Russian bells were presumably extant at the end of the nineteenth century, and weights for a number of them are published in N. Priakhin, "Kolokol'nyj zvon': dostoprimechatel'nye kolokola v' Rossii," Russkii palomnik', no. 19 (1886), pp. 171- 172. Priakhin, unfortunately, does not include dates of founding with the weights of bells in his list. For some non-Russian bells, see Percival Price, "Bell," New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2, ed. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 1980), p. 430, table 1: The largest bell in each of twelve countries; and Percival Price, Bells and Man (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 264-273 (App. A: An historical survey of bells around the world).
Shi-Tenno-ji Temple Bell: This Japanese bell was the largest ever cast in Asia. According to Percival Price it was melted down in 1942 for its metal (Bells and Man, 273).
Mingun: Today the stationary Mingun Bell is considered the world's largest ringing bell and is second only to Tsar- Kolokol in weight. The weight cited for the Mingun Bell varies considerably. It has been placed as high as 101.4 tons (202,800 pounds) and as low as 87 tons (174,000 pounds). (David A. Boehm, ed. Guinness 1984 Book of World Records [New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1984], 170; and Wilhelm Klein, Burma, 2d ed. [Hong Kong: Apa Productions, 1982], 201.)
Emilee: Located at Kyong-Ju National Museum. This bell is about three meters high and two meters in diameter. The story is that they could get no sound from it until a Buddhist monk had a dream that they had to sacrifice a young child to get any sound. So they threw a young girl into the melting pot, and the last thing they heard was her desperate cry, "Emilee" ("Mother!"). From that day, bell sounds like the cry of that child, and the bell has its name from this.
Tsarsky Kolokol: This is the Russian bell frequently cited in Western sources in or near Moscow under the name "Trotzkoi." It is so named because it hung in the bell tower of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra near Moscow until removed and melted down in 1930. Recast in 2004 at 72 metric tons (144,452 lbs).
This Nara bell may have been recast in 1239. (H. Batterson Boger, The Traditional Arts of Japan [New York: Bonanza Books, 1964], 101.)
Estimates of this Peking bell's weight vary greatly. In publications from the People's Republic of China it is officially cited as 46.5 tons (93, 000 pounds). (Liu Junwen, Beijing: China's Ancient and Modern Capital [Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1982], 143.) Other sources have reported its weight as 106,000 and 120,000 pounds.
Savvino-Storozhevsky: This bell was broken in 1941; its fragments are in Zvenigorod.
Christ the Savior Cathedral was demolished in 1931.
"Peters glocke " is considered the heaviest swinging bell in the world.
"Kaiserglocke" was destroyed during World War I to provide metal for war munitions but was replaced in 1925 by "Petersglocke " (Ernest Morris, Bells of All Nations [London: Robert Hale, 1951], 64).
"Pummerin" means "boomer. " Pummerin I, a bell of about the same weight cast in 1711, was destroyed during an air raid in 1945.
The Tobol'sk bell at 1,011 puds, 22 funts, was the largest in Siberia (N. R., "0 kolokolakh' i o kolokol'nom' iskusstve," Moskovskiia vedomosti, no. 51 [Saturday, April 29, 1850], p. 587n.).