Welcome back to my blog. Today’s discussion is about the bells from around the world. I know you’re thinking how I managed to travel to 100 countries and record bells from each country, well that’s not exactly the case. I was on my way to India but then I had to pass by Sofia, the capital and largest city of the Balkan nation of Bulgaria. This was my first time in Bulgaria so I was open to what the country has to offer and of course, lifelong experiences.
Read about my other experiences recording bells: Recording Bells and Gongs in Thailand Astonishing Bells Museum in France
Kambanite- More than Just a Park
During my 5-days stay in Sofia, I explored the city and obviously, you should know I will go around looking for interesting places to record sounds. After getting a little bit accustomed to Sofia, I looked up at Atlas Obscura, and I discovered a mesmerizing place called Kambanite! Kambanite is a park located on the outskirt of the city. You don’t need to hire a tour bus or an SUV to tour around Kambanite. All you need are your feet.
From the pictures I saw online, I figured out Kambanite park is a park with a tall building (erected in 1979) in the middle of the park with church bells. The building by surrounded with an open-air circled construction that has more than 100 bells on display from all over the world, each from a different country.
My Experience at Kambanite Park
Even if it sounded exciting, I didn’t have many expectations, since I already have apprehension about tourists making noise everywhere, or traffic highways killing the soundscape. But when I got to the Kambanite park, I felt it was the most incredible place I ever been to in my life! One fun thing about Kambanite park is that all the bells were freely available to make them ring by yourself!
I thought there were going to be a lot of tourists and background noises around the park, but to my surprise, there weren’t many noises around. Just a few winds in the trees, and some birds here and there and 2 visitors. The whole place resonated so much with my life quest of recording sound around the world!
Bells at Kambanite Park
Some bells are bigger and more like “Church Bells”, some others are more like Gongs. There are different varieties of bells in Kambanite and each bell speaks to me on a different level. I was able to record each bell one on one, and even try multiple strikes. Due to poor maintenance, some of the bells have depreciated and some are missing a few components. The bells show signs of wear and tear over time and some bell clappers were missing.
I had a fun and thrilling moment in Kambanite park. I recorded all the bells I could. This is from this time (it was October 2018), I started to be obsessed about all bells!
I selected some of the bells, you can listen to some of these:
With more than enough bells to ring, Kambanite is a place every tourist in Bulgaria must visit. Bulgaria being the oldest country in Europe, it won’t take time before you fall in love with the ancient buildings and parks.