The Bell Tower

Four bells are on the beautiful late medieval Bell Tower (in fact it shows «una evidente preesistenza tardomedievale» (an evident late medieval preexistence); cfr. D. Calcagno, M. Cavana, V. Moratti, I segni del tempo. Tracce di storia e arte nelle Valli Borbera e Spinti, II voll., Lions Club Borghetto Valli Borbera e Spinti, Alessandria 2004, II, p. 229).

Don Agostino Tambutto and the parishioners took great care of the bells. The different bells were rung according to which religious service was to take place. The villagers always recognised the distinct sound of the four different bells as the parishioners and Don Agostino Tambutto had given each one of the bells a name.

The Grossa Vecchia (the Big Old Bell) bell dated back to 1839 and weighed around 427 Kg. The inscription «Ave Maria, gratia Plena» was engraved on it.

The Mediana bell (the Middle Bell) which was rung on a Friday at three o’clock dated back to 1874 and weighed 335 Kg.  «B.M.V. De Monte Carmelo ora pro nobis» was engraved on this bell.

The Piccola (Small Bell) from the same period, was rung in order to indicate the start of mass. It was dedicated to St. Rufinus, and the following inscription was engraved on it «Beate Rufine esto protector noster» .

In 1892, the fourth and biggest bell was added to the Bell Tower. It weighed 680 Kg and was named Campanone (Big Bell). «Soli Deo Honor et Gloria in saecula saeculorum- Amen» was engraved on this bell.

These centuries’ old bells which are now safeguarded by the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici, (Superintendence of Architectural Heritages) are the only remaining decors of San Rufino’s Church. In the last few decades, their removal has been considered on several occasions, however since the parishioner are very attached to their traditional value and the estimate cost for the removal of the bells is rather high, it has been decided that they should be kept.

%d bloggers like this: