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16th Trade Fair of the Bells

Lecce, Italy


The Association Academia Lupiaensis renewed, under the patronage of the Province and the Municipality of Lecce, the manifestation of the Bells Fair will take place in Lecce day by day May 30 to June 3, 2014 at the former convent of the Teatini.

The event is particularly strong and engaging, is linked to the theme of the bell: in fact, on the occasion of the exhibition, artists and artisans display handmade terracotta, in which the bell symbol is interpreted in various forms according to the taste and creativity of each.

With this initiative, now in its 16th edition, the Association intends to recover an ancient fair, present in Lecce in 1500, which took place every year in the month of May. The stalls of the traders included the products of local crafts in clay, including bells-toy for the little ones. Remained in force until the forties of the last century, in the last decades has been forgotten; thanks Academia Lupiaensis back to life and proposes an event that combines the religious significance of the bells, a metaphor of peace and tolerance, with the cultural aspect of the event.

A review of the past, therefore, to understand and appreciate another piece of our cultural identity, especially as the theme of the bells is a propitious occasion to poke still little explored aspects of our history. For example, not all is known the origin of the term bell: it derives from the Latin vasa bell, that vessels built in Campania, with a special bronze Campanum said. Initially Used for various purposes, it remains uncertain the period when the bell takes emphasis in Christian worship; and first attestations of the sources refer to the sixth century AD, however, their use became a ritual from the ninth century.

From the sixteenth century, local sources report certain information about the presence of art bell in Lecce. The teachers smelters Lecce had their shops in an island of houses, called

"Island of the ferrari", located in the pittagio of San Biagio, between the church of Santa Chiara and the Governor's Palace. The best-known founder of Lecce that century, the founder of a dynasty of ferrari and bronze, was Colamaria Gricelli that in 1572, then built a clock placed on the turret of the seat.

In 1695 Benedict Gricelli cast the great bell for the bell tower of the cathedral. Probably signed by the artist and dated 1696 and 1710 are, respectively, the bells of the steeple of St. Matthew and that of the cathedral of Nardo.

The list of these valuable artifacts thickens with time, but the examples just mentioned are sufficient to grasp the importance of this event, which aims to spread the knowledge of ancient traditions and ancient crafts, such as the art of shaping the bells, whether in bronze or clay, where many generations of teachers have been able to merge the values ​​of faith, art and culture.

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from 30 May to 3 June 2014



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