Tuesday, February 7, 2012

For whom the bells toll

Above: Bok Tower Gardens is a botanical garden and bird sanctuary in Lake Wales FL.

Edward Bok, who came to the U.S. from the Netherlands when he was five years old, was the editor of Ladies Home Journal, an immensely popular magazine. He liked to winter in Florida, had plenty of money, and decided to create a bird sanctuary and flower garden.

The Bok Tower is the centerpiece of the gardens. It has a 60-bell setup called a carillon. The bells are played by a carillonneur each day at 1 and 3 p.m. Visitors can sit in one of the gardens and watch him play via s closed circuit TV feed. Because of the bells, it's called The Singing Tower.

The gardens opened in 1929.

You can read what Wikipedia says if you click here.

Above: The door to the Bok Tower is brass. It's inscribed with the biblical story of the creation of mankind. Visitors are not allowed in the tower.

Above: A clavier, similar to this one, is a keyboard that plays the 60-bell carillon in the Bok Tower. The player uses his hands, his fists and his feet to play the bells.

Above: The Bok Tower Gardens have a structure in which visitors can sit in a darkened area and watch birds, turtles and various other animals. It's called "Window by the Pond."

Above: One more view of the Bok Tower.

Photos taken with my P&S.


  1. Had an acquaintance dat could ring dem bells. He was a member of a computer club that I belonged to that met at the University of Chicago. That where he could play. There is also one in a suburb.

    Two things distinguished him.
    1. Carillonneur
    2. Only person I ever knew named Wylie

  2. Nice p&s pics. We were there about 20 plus years ago. Had a great time - well, a quiet and pleasant time. Thanx for the memory!

    (I have a bunch of photos from the Bok Tower/Gardens but they were all taken with a Nikon SLR - film camera!)