Grassmayr Bell Foundry

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Grassmayr Bell Foundry
Native name
Glockengießerei Grassmayr
Limited liability company
FounderBartlmä Grassmayr
Number of employees
approximately 40
The Grassmayr Bell Foundry in Innsbruck, Tyrol

The Grassmayr Bell Foundry is a maker of church bells founded more than 400 years ago in Innsbruck, Austria. The business was founded by Bartlmä Grassmayr in Habichen, a hamlet in the municipality of Oetz. At present, the company is Austria’s oldest family-run business and one of the largest bell manufacturers in the world, having supplied bells for eight religions in more than 100 countries on every continent.[1]


Bartlmä Grassmayr founded the company in 1599 in Habichen with the casting of his first bells after an eight-year journey; the company is probably the first bell foundry in Tyrol. He learned the art of bellfounding from the Aachen bell founder Joan von Teer. On 29 March 1595, it was acquired by his father, Hansen Grassmayr and was initially used for the casting of "harbors", the precursor of today's cooking pots.

On 16 May 1601 Bartlmä's son Johann Grassmayr (died 4 April 1683 in Wilten) was born. He continued the family business for many years. He completed the bell foundry apprenticeship with his uncle Jakob Veit Grassmayr in Feldkirch and spent several years as a wandering bell founder.

With the improvement of the transportation system in the country, the company relocated its headquarters to Innsbruck in 1836, where the foundry remains today. Further enterprises were then opened in Feldkirch and Brixen.

At present, Johannes Grassmayr of the 14th generation manages the business.

Traditional and modern symbols[edit]

At least one source has identified the symbols Grassmayr uses as maker's marks on their bells. These include sage leaves, angels and the griffin. A modern addition is the salamander.[2]

Notable work[edit]


  1. ^ MacEacheran, Mike (21 August 2017). "How Innsbruck sold bells to the world". BBC. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. ^ Wilson, David Snoo (2014). "Song of the Bell: Bell Founding and Performance Metal Casting" (PDF). Winston Churchill Memorial Trusts. Retrieved 7 December 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Matyas, Josephine (5 November 2009). "A ringing endorsement". Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Five bells of the National Cathedral to be cast in Austria next month". 16 March 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Cathedral of St. James". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  6. ^ "World's largest tube bell to ring in newborns". The Local. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  7. ^ Wamsiedler, Sebastian (7 June 2012). "Largest Grassmayr bell cast at 15 tons". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  8. ^ Andrews, Paul (19 July 2012). "The Bells Will Ring Out Thanks To Gebrüder Weiss". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  9. ^ Almonte, Liza (11 July 2012). "Gebruder Weiss Transports 15.5-ton bell from Innsbruck to Trieste". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Mösern Peace Bell". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Bell for the Papal visit in January 2015 to the Philippines comes from Tirol". Philippine Consulate Inssbruck. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2018.