The «San Eugenio» or «Fat» Bell

It is located in the tower of Toledo Cathedral and is considered to be the largest bell in Spain

If Toledo Cathedral is already magnificent in itself and an unmissable visit, now you will have another reason to visit it if you have not yet done so: its bell, known as the Gorda or «San Eugenio» bell.

This bell is classified as the largest in Spain and one of the largest in Christendom, and is consecrated to Saint Eugene, hence its name.

As for its measurements, the Leyendas de Toledo website states that «it was cast by Alejandro Gargallo in 1755 by order of Cardinal Borbón. Its measurements are: 2.29 metres in height, 9.17 in circumference and 2.93 in diameter. The weight, 1543 arrobas, which comes to some 17,496 kilos, more than 17 tons. -Other sources say that it weighs about 14,500 kilos without the wooden structure».

In addition, «it has an iron clapper immobilised in the centre by means of four thick diagonal wires. It is also fitted with a small, old, external motorised mallet, partially dismantled and therefore no longer in use’.

Photo: Legends of Toledo

But how did such a bell get up to the belfry of the cathedral tower? It seems that a resident of the city called Manuel Maldonado made four ropes and two hemp ropes weighing around two thousand kilos. After seven days of dragging, the campaign arrived at the Town Hall square, where it was hoisted with the help of a large ramp and a platform on which the bell was mounted. Afterwards, a pair of oxen were used to pull it up by means of a crane, and the wall separating two of the side grilles had to be removed in order to be able to insert it into the bell tower, which was later rebuilt.

As a curiosity, it is said that two months later the bell broke when it announced the patron saint’s day of Santa Leocadia.

SOURCE: Legends of Toledo

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