North Tower

A photograph of the ‘Pummerin’ bell.


Pitch: C° + 4

Weight: 20130 kg

Ø 313.6 cm

Cast in 1951

The proper name is St, Mary’s Bell, however the population of Vienna have named it ‘Pummerin’ (Boomer) because of its deep sound.

The old ‘Pummerin’ was cast from Turkish cannons in 1711 under emperor Joseph I. The enormous weight of 22500kg had considerable consequences for the structure of the South Tower. Thus it was rung only by moving the clapper. The last time it was rung was on Easter Sunday 1937. It was destroyed in the cathedral fire of 1945.

The new ‘Pummerin’ was cast in 1951 in St. Florian using remaining bits of the old bell. In 1957 it was put into the top of the North Tower. Its weight is over 22,000 kg including the clapper and all fittings, its diameter 313,6cm and the bronze is about 23 cm strong. In 2011 a new and lighter clapper was put in. Its weight is 637 kg, about 200 kg less than the previous one effecting the gentler sound.

It is rung on the following occasions: Christmas Eve after First Vespers and at for Midnight Mass, on Christmas Day after High Mass, on Saint Stephen’s Day High Mass, on New Year’s Eve for the Thanksgiving Service and at midnight, at the end of the Easter Vigil, on Easter Day after High Mass, on the Dedication Day of the Cathedral (23 April) after High Mass, on Whitsun after High Mass, at the beginning and end of the Corpus Christi procession, on Austria’s National Holiday (26 October), and commemorating the dead on All Souls’ Day.

Furthermore, it is rung at the death or election of a Pope, the death or appointment of a new Archbishop of Vienna and for the funeral particular people such as an Austian President or the Vicar of the Cathedral parish.