The “small” Munot Bell

As an alarm bell it warned the population

The “small” Munot bell in the ridge turret of the tower was cast in 1589 in the workshop of Hans Frei of Kempten (D). It served as an alarm bell, warning the population in the event of fire or enemy attacks. To this day, the Munot warden rings the bell by hand every evening at 9 p.m. for five minutes—formerly the signal to close the city gates and inns.

The wistful sound of the bell was the inspiration for Ferdinand Buomberger’s (1874–1946) well-known song “Munotglöcklein”. It tells the story of a jealous Munot watchman, who rang the bell so hard, when he saw his sweetheart being unfaithful, that it cracked.

According to the legend, which probably first came about in the 19th century, the 9 o’clock bell is rung in memory of a Schaffhausen nobleman who, upon his return from a crusade, lost his way during a storm and drowned near the city.

You can hear how the little Munot bell sounds here.

Foto: ProSpect GmbH

The “small” Munot bell is around 70 cm high and weighs 420 kilograms.

IInscription on the “small” Munot bell:
“I flowed out of the fire, Hans Frei of Kempten cast me. Watchman have a care, with due diligence you must ring me at the ninth hour of the night. In the year of our Lord 1589”