We went on a field trip with some homeschoolers to the UW Madison Carillon Bell Tower. I can now officially find suitable parking for my oversized 15 passenger van which is generally not campus friendly when it comes to parking!
Lyle gave us a fabulous tour, starting by explaining how the tower came into existence.
Originally there was a dome on Bascom Hill on this building, where the flags are. If I recall correctly there was a fire or something and the dome was destroyed. For many years the plan was to rebuild and put the bells in there, but after some number of years it was realized that it probably wasn't going to happen.
So the senior classes from 1917 - 1926 gave money from their fund to build a bell tower... and this is it.
The memorial over the doorway to the classes of 1917-1926 where funds came from
The building is stone and brick.
The followling picture is of the original carillon keyboard (also called clavier) which was somewhat like an organ that played bells. Built by the Gillett & Johnston bell foundry of Croydon, England. Installed in the tower in 1936 with 25 bells attached, 5 more bells added the following year. Carillon expansion to 51 bells in 1963 required a larger keyboard.
This original is on display. The knobs are played with the fists with the foot pedals in order to reach a greater range since one can only extend his arms so far while playing!
We climbed up 85 steps to get to the top.
So people could practice playing without having everyone in the town hearing, they created a practice keyboard.
This is a view looking down, so the handles are played with the fists and the rectangles at the bottom are played with the feet.
Here is a side view of the practice keyboard.
This is the real keyboard that rings the actual bells in the top of the tower.
The last hike up is a ladder and a rather tight squeeze.
The view of Lake Mendota from the top of the tower
The largest bell is over 7,000 pounds!
The smallest bell is 15 pounds.
This is a sound hole so that who is playing the bell keyboard can hear the sound as the tower floors are made of concrete.
Looking town the ladder.
We were given a concert that we could hear from up in the tower.
Then we came down for a presentation and concert from right next to the keyboard.
When we got to the bottom we were also able to hear him play from outside.
It was a splendid tour and highly recommended!
Afterwards we picnicked at the local zoo and enjoyed the animals. The lion is always a favorite as he is always so majestic and proud!
Who can ever get enough of monkeys of any variety?!
Tigers are another beautiful species to enjoy.
What can one say about a rhinoceros?! I believe they must have suffered from the fall, beauty is not its first name! :D
Who doesn't love the grace of a giraffe?
Bactrian Camels have 2 humps and Dromadaries have 1 hump. The humps are not filled with water but with fatty deposits. Camels can travel a long ways without eating or drinking. The more they get their nourishment from their fatty humps the more the humps will begin to droop.
These are wild as$es, related to zebras. They were particularly pretty.
This zoo as a very nice merry-go-round.
Kili & Marigold enjoyed a ride. Kili only enjoyed the ride until it actually started to go and then he wanted to be held. haha