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Photographer's Note

A bell tower (also belfry) is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in continental Europe, it is often named "belfry". Elsewhere, the term "belfry" refers strictly to the part of the tower which contains the bells. Thus some bell towers have no belfry. The occasional free standing bell tower may also be referred to by its Italian name, campanile. Old bell towers may be kept for their historic or iconic value, though in countries with a strong campanological tradition they often continue to serve their original purposes as well.

Bell towers are common in China and countries of the related cultures, where they may appear both as part of a temple complex and as an independent civic building.

The word belfry comes from Old French berfrei which is derived from Germanic *bergan "to protect" and *frithuz "peace"; that is, it was originally a watch tower providing protection against hostile incursions. These towers usually contained an alarm bell or bells, thus Middle English speakers thought berfrei had something to do with bells: they altered it to belfry, an interesting example of the process of folk etymology.Today's Dutch belfort seems to combine the bell with the stronghold

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Elias Castillo (manatee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 905 W: 5 N: 1376] (4668)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2010-02-12
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/6.8, 1/450 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2010-04-09 17:42
Viewed: 1665
Points: 6
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