Tsar Bell in Moscow
The largest bell in the world
The Tsar Bell was cast in the eighteenth century by the family Motorins known at that time as foundry masters: father Ivan and his son Mikhail. The bells of their work can be seen in St. Petersburg, Kiev and Moscow, including the Moscow Kremlin. The Tsar Bell is mounted on a stone pedestal on the east side of the bell tower of Ivan the Great.
By the decree of June 26, 1730 Empress Anna Ivanovna ordered to cast the giant bell. Originally this work was intended to attract the famous Parisian "Royal goldsmith and member of the Academy of Sciences", but he took a joke the requirement to cast the bell is such an incredible value and refused.
History of the bells is about many difficulties, failures and disasters. Molding and casting was made in a special pit dug on the Ivanovo area to the east of the belfry. For the manufacture of a relief ornamental decorations bells were called carvers from St. Petersburg. The sculptor Medvedev was educated in Italy.
To 1731 Motorin finished design of the bell which was approved by the Moscow Senate office for three years. The master cast is small, weighing 12 pounds, model of a bell and sent it to St. Petersburg together with the drawings, the estimates and the model of the lifting mechanism of the bells. Without waiting for permission from St. Petersburg, Motorin began building four casting furnaces.
On 26 November 1734 started metal smelting. Foundry kiln was filled with fragments of the old bells and 1276 poods of new metal, and then added copper and tin. But after 2 days went down two casting furnaces, the metal began to flow to the ground, the smelting had to be stopped. The resulting fire destroyed the wooden lifting structure, erected over the bell. After the liquidation of the accident, work was resumed. When preparing a new casting died suddenly Ivan Motorin (19 August 1735), the work to completion rests on the shoulders of his son Mikhail.
The last smelting of metal lasted 36 hours in four melting furnaces and the casting was just 1 hour 12 minutes, without incident. Manufacturing of giant Tsar Bell weighing 201 tons 924 kg (height 6,14 m, diameter of 6,60 m) was completed on 25 November 1735.
More than a year made decorations and inscriptions on the Tsar-Bell. Work was coming to an end when in may 1737 Kremlin fire broke out unprecedented power, which destroyed almost all wooden buildings, structures and tent that covered the casting pit. In the fire extinguishing water got on the hot metal of the bell, uneven cooling caused the cracking of the bell broke off a piece weighing 11.5 tons.
The Tsar Bell had been in the ground nearly 100 years, attempts to retrieve the bell from the pit failed. Only in 1836 the architect Auguste de Montferrand (the author of St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg) has developed a project of a lifting device and a special stone pedestal for installation of the Tsar bell. The bell was successfully extracted from the pit and set on an octagonal pedestal of Sandstone, where it stands today.
According to the analysis made in the laboratory of the mine department, in the alloy of the Tsar bell contains copper 84,51%, tin - 13,21, sulfur - 1.25%, about 0.036% of the gold (72 kg), and about 0.25% of silver, (525 kg).
The Tsar bell is an excellent piece of foundry art of XVIII century. In addition, he is unrivalled worldwide as the largest and by weight.