Dulle Griet

Coordinates: 51°03′26″N 3°43′27″E / 51.0573°N 3.7241°E / 51.0573; 3.7241
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dulle Griet
The Dulle Griet at Ghent
Place of originGhent, Bourgogne
Service history
Used byCity of Ghent
Production history
DesignedFirst half of the 15th century
Massc. 16.4 t
Length498 cm
Barrel length345 cm
Diameter90.5 cm (maximum outer diameter)

Shell weight340 kg
Caliber64 cm (ball diameter)

The Dulle Griet ("Mad Meg", named after the Flemish folklore figure Dull Gret) is a medieval large-calibre gun founded in Gent (Ghent).


One notable bombard used during the Holy Roman Empire period was the "Dulle Griet", which was a large-caliber cannon that belonged to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The bombard was forged in Flanders in the late 15th century and was capable of firing a 330-pound stone ball over a distance of several hundred yards. It was named after a legendary Flemish warrior woman known as "Dulle Griet," who was said to have used a large iron ball as a weapon.

Albert Manucy, in his book “ Artillery Through The Ages” available to read as a pdf on NPSHistory, writes about the capabilities of the “Dulle Griet”. “Dulle Griete, the giant bombard of Ghent, had a 25-inch caliber and fired a 700-pound granite ball. It was built in 1382.”

Maximilian I used the Dulle Griet in several military campaigns during his reign, including the Siege of Utrecht in 1483. The bombard was also used in ceremonial events, such as the entry of the Holy Roman Emperor into a newly conquered city.

Three cannons were founded: one resides now in Edinburgh castle and is called "Mons Meg", and the last one was in France but has since been lost. The wrought-iron bombard was constructed in the first half of the 15th century from 32 longitudinal bars enclosed by 61 rings.[1] In 1452, the bombard was employed by the city of Ghent in the siege of Oudenaarde, but fell into the hands of the defenders on the retreat and was only returned to Ghent in 1578.[2] Today, the bombard is set up close to the Friday Market square in the old town.

Besides the Dulle Griet, a number of 15th-century European superguns are known to have been employed primarily in siege warfare, including the wrought-iron Pumhart von Steyr and Mons Meg as well as the cast-bronze Faule Mette, Faule Grete and Grose Bochse.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schmidtchen 1977, p. 165
  2. ^ Schmidtchen 1977, p. 166


  • Schmidtchen, Volker (1977), "Riesengeschütze des 15. Jahrhunderts. Technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit", Technikgeschichte, 44 (2): 153–173 (164–166)

External links[edit]

51°03′26″N 3°43′27″E / 51.0573°N 3.7241°E / 51.0573; 3.7241