A bell tower is a more economical replacement for a tower, similar to a roof riders in church buildings. In addition, guided above the roof ridge freestanding masonry of the gable are arc-shaped openings in which the church bells are hung. Some bell gable seem to have acted or even mainly as an ornamental pediment.

Modern, comparable in function parts of buildings that were not built on the pediment are called bell tower.


Both single, double and multi-level or broad -mounted bell gable occur. While the insides of the arches are mostly undecorated, the outer sides sometimes have - each time corresponding taste - ornaments in the form of small obelisks, spheres, scrolls etc.


Belfry tower over most of the choir of a church confronting western gable wall; in rare cases (eg in some churches in the South West of France or northern Spain ), the bell tower is on the outside above the triumphal arch between the nave and apse (eg Iglesia San Salvador in Tirgo ). Also along Asked bell gable are possible (eg, Iglesia San Martin in Briviesca or Ermita Santo Cristo de San Sebastián in Coruña del Conde ). In the baroque bell tower a few were integrated into the overall structure (see Pedro de Ribera ); others are free to the church. A few important churches even have two bell gable.


Typical bell gable are found almost exclusively on churches in the northern Mediterranean; in central and northern Europe, they are largely unknown or strongly distorted in shape. With the Spanish conquistadors and missionaries they came to the Canary Islands and Central and South America and the Philippines.

Town Halls

In secular buildings (eg town halls ) bell tower are extremely rare; in Central and South America there are but a few examples.


In the coastal towns of Central Europe ( Flanders, Holland, Friesland, Baltic Sea ) Giebel are also considered, bell gable bell-shaped silhouette on a designated representative urban and civic buildings of the Baroque period '. However, they have nothing in common with the bell gables in the strict sense.


Prieuré de Marcevol, Roussillon ( mid 12th century)

San Salvador de Cantamuda, Castile ( 1200 )

Ermita San Miguel, Santo Toribio de Liébana, Cantabria (13th century)

Santa María de la Oliva, Villaviciosa, Asturias (originally 13th century)

Notre- Dame-de- l'Assomption in Villefranche -de- Lauragais Lauragais ( 1360 )

Saint -André in Gotein -Libarrenx, Basque Country ( 1500)

San Millan in Villamaderne, Basque Country ( 1600)

Portal of the chapel of the deposit and the poorhouse of Madrid ( Monte de Piedad, 1733)

Palacio de la Merced in Cordoba, Andalusia ( 1745 )