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When talking about ancient bells we ought to establish two different categories. The first category would apply to oldest bells in general, without taking into consideration their current use or disuse. The second category would account for oldest bells still ringing at the top of a bell tower nowadays. It is to this second category that the famous bell “Wamba”, from the Cathedral of Oviedo, belongs to. In fact, the bell preceded the bell tower: it was molten in 1219.

To the first category belongs the famous mozarab bell of the Abad Sansón, which dates from the year 930 and has the honor of being the oldest bell in Spain and Europe. Made out of bronze, with a hight of only 19,5 cm and a similar length for the maximum diameter, it is a small bell. Thanks to an inscription carved in the bell, we know that it was donated in the year 930 by an abbot named Sansón to the extinct monastery of San Sebastián del Monte, located in the mountains of Córdoba. A year later Abd al Rahman III would be proclaimed caliph of Al-Andalus.

The bell was found in the XVIth century deep inside a well near the village of Trassierra and taken to the monastery of San Jerónimo by Ambrosio de Morales. From there it went to the Monuments Comission and finally, after the confiscation process of church properties that took place throughout the XIXth century in Spain, it arrived to the Arqueological Museum of Córdoba. The museum is not far from the hotel, the stroll would take us through the old beautiful city.

 

Note: Entrance to the museum is free for any european citizen.

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