The Peace Palace has two towers, the highest of which was adorned with a clock donated by Switzerland. Several committed individuals and organizations have eventually made it possible to also place a carillon with 48 bells in the tower. The last bell was donated in 2013 during the centenary celebrations of the Peace Palace. The carillon is owned by the Carnegie-Foundation, but the Hague Carillon Foundation organizes for it to be played.
Influenced by international developments, the Peace Palace was established in 1913 in The Hague. During that time a carillon was not yet installed in the tower of the Peace Palace. There was, however, a timepiece placed in the tower, donated by Switzerland.
The Foundation Carillon The Hague devoted itself to realize the project. Bells were donated by for example: Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, Dr Naghendra Singh, President of the International Court of Justice (1985-1988), the governments of Belgium and Switzerland, the city of The Hague and the Australian Carillon Society.
Finally, on 3. November 1994, a carillon with 38 bells was officially brought into use. The carillon reached the volume of 47 bells (four octaves) in the year 2000 and in 2013 it was completed with a large bell, cast to mark the celebration of 100 years Peace Palace.
The carillon does not have a function of indicating time it is merely a musical instrument. Nowadays the carillon is still played every Tuesday and Thursday from 13.00 to 13.45 hrs.
War Memorial and Peace Carillons
The Peace Palace is part of the international network of ‘War Memorial and Peace Carillons’ (www.peacecarillons.org). This network consists of about 40 ‘monuments of sound’ that remind us of the lives lost due to battle worldwide, sacrificing their lives for our freedom.
This musical composition was released on the 3rd of November 2019 because of the 25th year anniversary of the Peace Palace carillon. The composition was not only edited for this occasion, but also for international commemorations in 2019 and 2020 because of ‘75 years since the end of World War II’.
The Hague has a distinctive carillon culture. Throughout the year, there are seven carillon concerts every week divided over three bell towers: the tower of the Great Church in the city center, of the Old Church in Scheveningen by the sea, and the tower of the Peace Palace. The Peace Palace carillon is played every Tuesday and Thursday from 13.00 to 13.45.
25 years Carillon
The Hymne des Nations was written by a Dutch pianist and composer with Jewish heritage, Charles Grelinger (1873 – 1942). In 1942 Grelinger tragically died on his way to concentration camp Auschwitz. This publication gives us the opportunity to remember him as a victim of war by playing this humble but appropriate work.
This edition was made by Heleen van der Weel, carillonneur of The Peace Palace. A printed version of this musical composition is found in the collection of the Peace Palace Library.
Source: Original article by Heleen van der Weel, Stichting Carillon Den Haag