Apolda, the town of bells
What do Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, Rome, Jerusalem, Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin have in common? Bells from Apolda ring in every one of them!
From 1722, well over 20,000 bronze bells from Apolda were sent to destinations all over the world, and after 1945, the same number again of white cast iron bells was produced in co-operation with two external iron foundries. Even though no bells have been cast here since 1988, the bell tradition and culture are still omnipresent throughout the town.
The Municipal and Bell Museum has a permanent exhibition of bells from three millenia and brings the cultural history of the bell back to life, from its beginnings to the present day, especially since visitors can ring some of the bells themselves. The carillon in the Stadthaus rings daily at 9.55 a.m., 11.55 a.m. and 4.55 p.m., enticing visitors to pause for a while on their walk from the Municipal and Bell Museum to the market square. It has a repertoire of 100 tunes. From the towers of the three churches in Apolda ring out a total of eight synchronised bronze bells. A special treat for listeners is the World Bell-Ringing, which will again entrance scores of visitors in 2017.
A colourful contrast to the iron sisters, namely bells and cannons, is supplied by the permanent exhibition on the textiles industry in the Municipal and Bell Museum, the top-level art exhibitions in the Apolda Avantgarde Art Gallery and the “Olle DDR” (the old GDR) Exhibition.
These attractions are supplemented by an extensive programme of events, including annual highlights like the Vintage Car Castle Meeting with 250 lovingly tended vehicles, the Fashion Night with a 40-metre catwalk across the market square, the Onion Market with seven stages and the Festival of Lights with the enchantingly illuminated market square on the 1st weekend in Advent.