The Swiss love their church bells. In Zürich they ring constantly. Every quarter hour to mark the time, and for 10 minutes at a stretch to call the faithful to church. Nothing quite as exotic as change ringing, but the random rhythm is pretty interesting sounding.

Mark Twain, on his visit to Switzerland, didn't care for the bells so much.

We did not oversleep at St. Nicholas. The church-bell began to ring at four-thirty in the morning, and from the length of time it continued to ring I judged that it takes the Swiss sinner a good while to get the invitation through his head. Most church-bells in the world are of poor quality, and have a harsh and rasping sound which upsets the temper and produces much sin, but the St. Nicholas bell is a good deal the worst one that has been contrived yet, and is peculiarly maddening in its operation.
  2005-09-11 08:27 Z