University Museum of Bergen

Heavenly Sound

The University Museum of Bergen has the pleasure to invite you to a one-day symposium on the production and use of church bells, with focus on the Middle Ages.

Heavenly sound
GUIDED TOURS: There will be guided tour and listening to the bells at 12:00, at St. Mary’s church.

Church bells and their sound have for about one thousand years been a central feature in Norwegian society. The one-day symposium “Heavenly sound” deals with the production and use of bells, with focus on the Middle Ages.

The symposium is organized by the medieval collections at the Department of Cultural History, University of Bergen (Alf Tore Hommedal and Justin Kroesen). The symposium is a part of the Medieval Group at the University of Bergen.

The papers, in Norwegian or English, will be presented at the Archaeological Collections, Dreggsalmenning 3 (Bryggens Museum), followed by a “heavenly sound”-based walk through the town to the Church Collections, Haakon Sheteligs plass 10 (Historisk Museum).

Mark off Tuesday 21 November 2017 from 9 am to 5 pm for tones and thoughts on Heavenly Sound in the Middle Ages!

Last chance to sign up is 10th of November - Registration press here.


09:00-09:15            Welcome by the museum’s director Henrik von Achen

Church bells

09:15-09:45            Justin Kroesen: Bells as markers in the liturgy    

09:45-10:15            Terje de Groot: Norwegian medieval church bells. What is preserved and what do we know?

10:15-10:30            Coffee/tea/fruit

“Me fecit”. Bell casting in Norway according to archaeological evidence

10:30-11:00            Alf Tore Hommedal: A sacred workshop? On bell casting in the Sola church, Rogaland

11:00-11:30            Julian Cadamarteri: A bell casting workshop in late medieval Trondheim

11:30-11:45            Questions and discussion

11:45-12:15            St. Mary’s church, guided tour and listening to the bells at 12:00

12:15-13:00            Lunch (Bryggens Museum)

The sound of bells

13:00-13:30            Alf Tore Hommedal: The church’s extended area. Sound landscapes in urban and rural contexts

13:30-14:00            Dick van Dijk: Heavenly sound in a European context

14:00-15:00            An urban walk towards Nygårdshøyden

15:00-15:45            The Church Art Collection, Historisk Museum

15:45-16:15            Coffee/tea/fruit16:15-16:25            Asbjørn Myksvoll: The carillon in St. John’s church


16:40-17:00            Dick van Dijk: Carillon Concert, St. John’s church