*The Bell of the Fallen was the idea of Rovereto priest Don Antonio Rossaro, to honour the Fallen of all wars and to invoke peace and brotherhood between the peoples of the whole world.

The bell was cast in Trento on 30 October 1924 using the bronze from cannons donated by nations involved in the First World War. It was baptised in Rovereto with the name “Maria Dolens” on 24 May 1925, inaugurated on 4 October the same year and placed on the Malipiero Bastion of Rovereto Castle.

As the sound did not correspond to the desired tone, the Bell was recast in Verona on 13 June 1939, and returned to Rovereto on 26 May 1940 to continue its exalted mission of peace and universal brotherhood.

On 31 August 1960, due to a serious and irreparable crack, the Bell ceased ringing, and on 1 August 1964 it was recast at the Capanni foundry in Castelnovo Né Monti (Reggio Emilia).

It is the world's largest swinging bell: 3.36 metres high and 3.21 metres in diameter, it weighs 22.639 tonnes, the clapper weighing 600 kilos and the headstock 10.300 tonnes.

On 31 October 1965, the Bell was blessed in St Peter's Square, Rome by Pope Paul VI, and on 4 November the same year it returned to Rovereto and was placed on the  Colle di Miravalle near the Castel Dante Ossuary.

The hood of Maria Dolens is engraved with the illustrious words of Pope Pius XII: "Nothing is lost in Peace. All may be lost in War". and John XXIII: “In pace hominum ordinata concordia et tranquilla libertas”.

For over eighty years the Bell of the Fallen has sounded every evening to commemorate the Fallen of the entire world, without distinction of faith or nationality and as a grave warning to the living: “No more war”.

 

*All the texts in the BELL section of this website are taken from the book "La Campana dei Caduti" by Renato Trinco and Maurizio Scudiero.