500-year-old giant bronze bell stolen from Berlin church

500-year-old giant bronze bell stolen from Berlin church

German police are investigating a curious case of how thieves managed to steal a 500-kilogramme, giant bronze bell from a churchyard in the capital.

Berlin police look for giant bell

A giant bronze bell dating back to 1513 has mysteriously gone missing from a churchyard in Berlin. Police in the capital are now searching high and low for the missing object, which was reported stolen on July 13. 

The bell was on display in a churchyard in Berlin-Heinersdorf, where it has been for the last 50 years. Thought to be more than 500 years old, the bell was damaged in the Second World War but survived total destruction. Between 1939 and 1945 many of Germany’s church bells (around 175.000) were seized by the Nazis, melted down and used in the armaments industry.

Since the Berlin bell weighs so much, police suspect that thieves must have made a detailed plan in advance of their heist.

Berlin priest is mourning loss of the local bell

The priest of the evangelical church on Romain-Rolland-Straße, Anne-Kathin Finke, is mourning the loss of her church's bell and is bamboozled by the theft. “You can’t just stick half a tonne under your arm,” Finke told rbb.

“This is a very painful loss for myself and the congregation,” Finke added. While police conduct their investigation, the church is carrying out a social media campaign to track down the bell in the German city.

Thumb image credit: Sergii Figurnyi /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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