The Cathedral has no western towers, instead a handsome well-proportioned campanile is attached to the north-east side. In January 2001, a vertically-sliced marble fluted column of the Roman period was found incorporated within the wall beneath its west support.
The campanile houses a set of five new bells cast by John Taylor Bellfounders Limited of Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, the largest bell-foundry in the world. The bells reached Gozo on 31 July 2003 and were blessed by Bishop Nikol Cauchi of Gozo in a special ceremony on 2 August. Each bell is decorated with a set of ornate canons bearing six cherubs, and a garland of English roses round the waist. A bust of Saint Ursula and another of Pope Pius IX are embossed on the fourth bell, while the effigy of the titular painting of the Assumption and an inscription recording their blessing is embossed upon the largest.
They form a magnificent major chord in G natural, proposed by Maltese campanologist Kenneth Cauchi. The biggest, raised on 24 December 2003, hangs in the centre. It is the largest and heaviest bell in Gozo. The following are their technical details:
Photo: © Daniel Cilia
|No.||Year||Note||Interval||Diameter (mm)||Weight (kg)|
The campanile supports an elegant cupola and complements the front screen by added loftiness thus creating the sense of a majestic structure on what is in effect an extremely confined site.