Since 1795, the Paccard foundry has been producing bells for the whole of France and the rest of the world. Discover this fascinating Bell Museum in Sévrier on the shores of Lake Annecy.
The Paccard foundry: a tradition of excellence since 1796
It was in 1796 that the first bell left the workshop of Antoine Paccard. He wanted to give a bell to the church in his village of Quintal in Haute-Savoie. The bell had been cast during the Revolution. It has been ringing for 225 years. This was the beginning of a unique know-how that would supply bells and carillons to the whole world. Since then, seven generations of founders have succeeded one another, producing more than 120,000 bells, which represents 700 to 800 bells each year.
In 1891 the largest bell in France, “ La Savoyarde“, was delivered to the Sacred Choir of Montmartre. It weighed 18,835 kilos.
Then in 1950, the United States ordered 54 replicas of the famous Liberty Bell, which rang the Independence Day bell in 1776. Recently, the foundry delivered to America for the new millennium, the largest bell in the world: 33 tons.
The Paccard foundry also groups together the professions of campanist, i.e. the professions that deal with the engineering of bell towers: carpenter, clockmaker, mechanic, electrician and restorers of old mechanisms.
The company will deliver a musical sculpture of 63 bronze bells, three of which weigh 2 tons, called Ars Sonora, to the University of Tampa in Florida. This contract, the largest in its history, guarantees 3.5 years of work. The work will be 32 metres high and weigh 85 tonnes, including 9 km of cables. The Ars Sonora is a technology developed by the Paccard foundry which uses a keyboard that allows for numerous musical nuances.
Visit the Paccard Museum
This is an opportunity to discover the magic of molten metal that has been creating the most beautiful bells in the world since 1796. The museum was first set up in Annecy-le-Vieux and transferred to Sévrier in 1989 on the shores of Lake Annecy. The visitor discovers the tools necessary for the manufacture of the bell, documents and engravings that tell the story of the bell. Three documentaries explain and show the casting of a monumental bell.
Guided tours and educational visits are planned to interest all audiences. A concert hall presents increasingly successful singing and carillon concerts with talented guests throughout the year.
A shop (selling miniature bells) and a tea room enhance the visit. The foundry can also be visited from 15 April to 15 October.Address: 215 route de Piron, 74 320 Sévrier.
Price: from 8 €.