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A carillon is a musical instrument that is played using a keyboard and that consists of at least 23 bronze bells. The bells must provide a harmonic sound. The carillon first saw the limelight in the 16th century when rich cities, like Bruges, embellished their belfries and steeples with tower bells. In the 17th century, the technique was refined and by the end of the 19th century, the carillon was increasingly used as a musical instrument in its own right, not related, therefore, to towers and churches.

Since November 2014, UNESCO has recognised Belgium's carillon culture as a best practice in terms of safeguarding its intangible cultural heritage. This is an important international recognition for the Belgian carillonneurs and for all those who are committed to the carillon culture.

Those of you who wish to listen to a spot of carillon playing in the next few days can do so at the Market Square of Bruges (carillon with 47 bells), the Grootseminarie (theological academy) of Bruges (26 bells) and the Church of Lissewege (24 bells).

Beiaardier aan het werk

Live-streamed carillon concerts

Are you homesick for the cheerful carillon sounds of the Belfry, but can't make it to Bruges right now? If so, we'll simply bring the carillon over to you! Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 11.00 a.m., you can follow a live stream of the carillon concert on the Facebook page of the Brugse Klokkenspelvereniging (Bruges Carillon Society), a platform for carillon culture in Bruges that organises concerts and activities around this musical heritage.

Beiaard Brugge

History of the carillon

The very first bells came from China in around 2,000 BC.
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