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Bell Foundry Town: Erding sounds all over the world


Long before the Weißbräu or the thermal baths, the bell founders shaped the reputation of the town of Erding. The Erding Museum houses an exhibition on the subject of 150 years of bell foundry town.

Long before the Weißbräu or the thermal baths, the bell founders shaped the reputation of the town of Erding.

The Erding Museum houses an exhibition on the subject of 150 years of bell foundry town.


– Long before the Weißbräu or the thermal baths made Erding famous, it was master craftsmen who carried the town's reputation out into the world: the bell founders.

The importance of this craft for more than 150 years became clear when the work of art was recently installed on the Freisinger Bridge: it shows a stylized bell tower.

The Museum Erding has dedicated a permanent exhibition to the bell founders.

Church bells have been used since the fifth century.

The Old High German word "glocca/clocca" is traced back to the Celtic "cloc".

Bell foundries were mostly located in Benedictine monasteries, later laymen also practiced the profession.

Traveling journeymen were often out and about, making the bells they needed right on the spot.

The profession was held in high esteem.

Another mainstay of the craftsmen was the casting of cannons for a long time.

It is considered pure coincidence that the Erdinger Josef Bachmair, son of a merchant, learned the trade of bell foundry and founded a business in Erding.

Strangely enough, this was located exactly where the Museum Erding stands today.

This is where Erding's rise to become a bell foundry town began.


Homage to the famous craft: the work of art with the stylized bell on the Fehlbach Bridge over Freisinger Straße by Christian Hinz.

© Peter Gebel

Josef Bachmair the Elder (1823-1873) learned his craft in a Munich bell foundry and also created his masterpiece there in 1849.

This bell first hung in the Josefi Institute on the hospital street and later in the church in the Fendsbacher Hof.

Today it can be admired in the Museum Erding.

When Bachmair received his trade license from the Erding magistrate in 1850, he not only made bells, but also had fittings, fire-fighting equipment, pumps, mortars and even sausage guns on offer.

When the kindergarten moved into the Antoniusheim on Prielmayerstraße, Bachmair moved his workshop to the Wild tinsmith shop on Spiegelgasse.

During his creative period of 23 years, 214 bells were made.

Shortly before his death, Bachmair's last work was the Ave Maria bell for the Franciscan church in Nazareth.

This bell, weighing 500 kilograms, was donated by a group of Bavarian pilgrims and took an adventurous journey to its destination in the Holy Land.

It was heard there for the first time on the eve of All Saints' Day.

Josef Bachmair died of cholera at the age of 50.

The business was taken over by his son Anton Josef Bachmair (1851-1925), who in 1879 built a house with a foundry at Herzoggraben No. 4.

The workshop was in the back part of the house towards the Fehlbach and was in use until after the Second World War.

The Bachmair foundry delivered good quality, and bells from Erding were soon found in many church towers in the district and throughout Upper Bavaria.


Masters of their trade: the Erdinger bell founders Josef Bachmair d.

Ä., Anton Josef Bachmair and Karl Czudnochowsky.

© Peter Gebel

Anton Josef Bachmair was active as a master bell founder until 1912 and cast 566 church bells during this time, including such important ones as those for the collegiate church in Altötting and the parish church in Ilmmünster.

A relief by Anton Josef Bachmair, made by the Erdinger sculptor Max Westner, adorned the southern parapet of the Freising Bridge until it was renovated.

From there he looked over to the old foundry.

When Anton Josef Bachmair retired in 1912, his son Josef Bachmair the Younger (1885-1914) took over the business, but he was only granted two years as a master bell founder.

He was only able to cast 20 bells, including the new bells for the parish church in 1913. At the age of just 29, he was the first Erdinger to die in World War I, to which his brother Anton later also fell victim.

After the war, Josef's widow Antonie continued the business with the help of her father-in-law and uncle Georg.

By 1936 only about 120 bells emerged from the workshop.

When the two sons took up other professions, the era of the Bachmair bell foundry dynasty came to an end, but the craft lived on.

Because the Bachmair foundry was leased in 1936 to Karl Czudnochowsky (1900-1977) from the Palatinate.

He had learned from his uncle in the Ulrich bell foundry in Apolda (Thuringia) and had already worked on the casting of the large bell for Cologne Cathedral.

Czudnochowsky bought the Erdinger company in 1948 and soon erected a new workshop on Feldstrasse (betweensiedlungsstrasse and Anton-Bruckner-Strasse), as there was no longer enough space in the old foundry on Herzoggraben.

Because after the Second World War the bell founders were booming, since most of the bells had been melted down to produce war equipment and ammunition - like those in the Erdinger Stadtturm.

In its heyday, Czudnochowsky employed around 100 workers.

They created around 7,400 bells - most of them made of bronze, but also 400 of them made of the bell replacement material Euphon, a tin-free copper-zinc alloy.

Euphon was cheaper to produce, had a nice sound and was not in danger of being melted down as it could not be reused.

For health reasons and also because of falling demand, Karl Czudnochowsky finally closed his foundry in 1971, but many of the bells he cast are still ringing today.

In Erding they can be heard in the Heilig Blut pilgrimage church, in the Fliegerhorstkirche, the Klettham Church of the Redeemer and in St. Vinzenz;

in Munich in St. Peter and in the Theatiner Church, in Cologne in the St. Mary's Assumption Church and in the monastery churches of St. Ottilien and Andechs.

In the Spanish monastery church of Monserrat, eight bells are the largest that was cast in Erding.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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