History of the belfry and the Bells
|St. Daniel with a view of the monastery. Icon, the 17th century|
Like the Church of St. Daniel the Stylite built by Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, the first Danilov Monastery belfry was made of wood. We do not possess any information about its appearance or location. It must have been built at the same time as the monastery church (i.e. about 1282). It could have been a belfry attached to the church or a simple wooden structure next to it – anyway, we have no reason to doubt its existence. Bells or bilos hanging flat panels traditionally made of wood or iron that are struck like gongs) have been used to strike the ‘hours’ of the monastical routine at monasteries and convents since the first days of Christianity in Russia.
built the Cathedral
of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in 1561 (Cathedral of the
Holy Fathers) and revived the monastery’s life, built a new belfry as well . As a matter of fact,
We have no accurate information about the external appearance or interior of the belfry built by Ivan the Terrible. This uncertainty gives rise to doubt, and some researches suppose that before the construction of the present belfry the monastery did not have its own ring of bells and had to use the bells of St. Daniel’s Church outside the monastery wall. However, facts prove the opposite. In 1682, Tsar Fyodor Alekseevich made the monastery a gift of two bells. Both of them bear an inscription, which says: «Great Tsar gave this bell to the House of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils…» and not to the «House (church, monastery) of St. Daniel the Stylite». This material evidence clearly points to the whereabouts of the monastery belfry.
|Entry on the construction of a new belfry, 1688–89, RGADA (Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts)|
In 1688–89, the monastery builds a «new stone belfry». An entry in the monastery accounts book covering that period says: «Building of a new stone belfry, 65 roubles paid to Andrushka Antonov, Ivashka Fyodorov and other Ipatievsky stonemasons from Kostroma, as agreed in writing» .
|A print by P. Picard, 1705.|
|Ensemble of Danilov Monastery churches in 1689–1730, reconstruction|
The monastery church complex presented in the reconstruction stretched to the south of the Cathedral of the Holy Fathers and dated back to the 1670-s . Later, in 1730, the Cathedral of the Holy Fathers, which had become dilapidated, was dissembled and rebuilt over the one-storeyed building of
We can suppose that the new belfry received the bells from St. Daniel the