The Paccard bells: a family portrait
A CENTURY-OLD, WORLD-RENOWNED BUSINESS
The Paccard family’s traditions and know-how are bonded tightly with French history.
The foundry began in 1796 when Antoine Paccard crafted his first bell in the small village of Quintal.
Industrialisation and the development of railways in the 19th century opened the way for the exportation of bells across the globe.
Since then, ‘each generation has brought an innovation’, explains Anne Paccard, director of the museum and wife of the CEO of the business, Philippe Paccard.
Driven by passion, these bellfounders helped the company gain a worldwide, unrivalled reputation.
The bourdon—a large, low-toned bell that weighs several tonnes. The foundry has made some of the greatest bells in the world, including the famous Savoyarde in the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris.The foundry’s other expertise is perfect bell tuning and musicality, making them the international specialists for carillons.
The foundry also contains a museum. ‘The museum doesn’t have the ambition of being a scholarly place for the art of bell making. It is, rather, a showcase and living memory of the foundry. We find here what contributed and continues to contribute to the richness and reputation of our family business’, explains Anne Paccard.
Mag Savoie Mont Blanc n°8
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Jeanne d’Arc, the bourdon in the Rouen Cathedral, weighs 16 tonnes.
- The Savoyarde in the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris weighs more than 18 tonnes and is the largest bell in France.
- The largest swinging bell in the world, the Vox Patris, weighs 55 tonnes!