Field Trip

This is a completely random post.

But Greta and Michael did something completely random this week. Never underestimate what college students will do to avoid studying for finals.

I’m not exactly sure how it came about. But they ended up getting a tour of the bell tower at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. I’ve never known Michael to have an interest in anything remotely musical. But I suppose anything is game if it helps him dodge Linear Algebra.

Field trip!

Greta works for the rector of the Basilica and he offered to give them a tour. The view from 230 feet was amazing.

There is a keyboard with levers that ring the different bells.

Each person had a turn to play a tune. People walking around campus must have thought something was haywire with the bell tower.

During the tour, Peyton and Eli Manning were shooting a Ghost Busters spoof across campus at Washington Hall. You can see the crowds of people gathered out front.

Now to some random facts regarding these bells.

*The original 23 bells were installed in 1856 and make-up the oldest carillon in North America.

*The bells were made in France and each has a name related to the Blessed Mother, using one of her many titles.

*The bell that tolls the hour is named Our Lady of the Annunciation because it announces the time to campus. Clever.

*Bells are christened not blessed because they are said to have at least a figurative soul.

*Each bell is inscribed with the story of its christening told from the perspective of the bell: “My name is XXX. I was christened by XX in the presence of Edward Sorin and Basil Moreau.” Fr. Sorin founded the University in 1842. These are old bells.

*The bells play the alma mater at 10pm every night.

At the end of the tour, they signed their names on a wood panel for posterity. Sanctioned graffiti!

I never knew there was so much history in that bell tower.

Nor the heights that my kids would go to for a study break.

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