Have you heard the Cathedral bells? If you hear them while wandering through the old town, you will remember the old times when bells announced festivities, joy, danger, played at Mass, a funeral or a baptism… The largest and oldest one is called Beneta.
Many, many years ago there existed another one with the same name that had been blessed by Saint Benedict during a visit to Girona. They said that it was usual to hear the bell voice, which was spread throughout the city and surrounding farmers to inform of a child born, somebody’s marriage, the existence of fire, the start of festival or just diary deaths. In fest days, the bell didn’t stop ringing all day, and its sweet voice cheered by caring everyone’s worries away.
But a bad day, a lightning fell on the bell cracking it and its vocie. As you can imagine citizens got sad and decided to solve the problem.
The bishop and the mayor of the city sent emissaries everywhere to find a bellman who could replace the talkative bell. But no one was dared. The challenge was too difficult. In the end, the message reached the ears of a young Frenchman who had just entered the guild of ringers and offered his services to the bishop, who offered the attic of the episcopal palace to work there.
The young worker started working hardly with illusion. He casted bells of all sizes but every time he checked the bell he thought it would be impossible to replay the old bell sound. He was so obsessed that kept working even when he needed to eat, drink or sleep.
One night, an angel appeared to him in dreams and whispered the secret for getting a wonderful sound for a bell. He wake up quickly and got to work. One, two, and three bells built but none of them sounded good enough. He tried it again and after hearing the fourth bell “DONG” he claimed his hopeless: his work was a failure and the only thing he could do after that was running away from Girona just to anybody could never knew him again.
Upon entering the room, monks and friars took the bell, hang the bell to the tower and made it sound. The sound was wonderfull and was the sound that we can still hear today.
Ah! And the legend says that Beneta only bells three times when a bishop dies. So… Pay attention and listen what its says.