The collection of bells of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery was one of the biggest among the monasteries of the Russian North. Bells were donated, bought and cast in the monastery. The brethren commissioned the best masters of Novgorod, Pskov and Moscow to found bells. Local smiths also participated in the manufacture of bells. They cast tongues of bells and carried out other work connected with bell founding. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 26 bells on the bell-tower. Their total weight was about 2000 poods.

Unfortunately, most of the bells have not come down to us, because they were melted down in the 1930s. The collection of the museum includes only two bells which were made in Holland in 1644-1646. Employees of the museum began to replenish the collection at the same time. Bells were brought from the closed churches and dilapidated belfries and were handed over to the museum. 11 bells dating back to the 19th – 20th centuries and 11 new bells cast in Voronezh were brought to the museum over the last decades of the 20th century. One of them which weighs 112 kg is displayed at the exhibition. Bells are often found during expeditions, are donated and bought from the collectors within the last years. There are over two dozens of church bells in the museum collection at present. Three of them have been donated and have corresponding inscriptions.

Along with the church bells, the museum has a collection of shaft-bow bells which was formed thanks to expeditions and research work of museum employees in the second half of the 20th century.

The exhibition “World of Bells” is the third display of bells in the museum (the collection of bells was first presented to the visitors of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve in the Small Hospital Chambers in 1977). It includes the bells of the 16th 19th centuries, shaft-bow bells, jingles, articles from the private collection of Mikhail Surov, pictures pained by B. Gorbunov, A. Ryabkov, V. Malkov, A. Yevtikheev, drawings of N. Martynov, A. Pozdnyakov, Y. Ushakov, lithographs and engravings depicting bell-towers and churches with belfries of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, the Ferapontov monastery and the Goritsy Convent, photographs with the views of destroyed churches of Kirillov and neighbouring parish churches. The semantron (the instrument which was first used instead of bells) can be seen on the coat-of-arms of Kirillov and the Kirillov district. Details of the tower clock mechanism of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery are exhibited in the fourth tier of the bell-tower.

The upper tier of the bell-tower is open as a viewing platform in the summer season.

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