A carillon is a musical instrument that is played using a keyboard and that consists of at least 23 bronze bells. The bells must provide a harmonic sound. The carillon first saw the limelight in the 16th century when rich cities, like Bruges, embellished their belfries and steeples with tower bells. In the 17th century, the technique was refined and by the end of the 19th century, the carillon was increasingly used as a musical instrument in its own right, not related, therefore, to towers and churches. Since November 2014, UNESCO has recognised the Belgian carillon culture as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Those of you who wish to listen to a spot of carillon playing in the next few days can do so at the Market Square of Bruges (carillon with 47 bells), the Grootseminarie (theological academy) of Bruges (26 bells), Damme Town Hall (39 bells) and the Church of Lissewege (24 bells).