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Rees Memorial Carillon, Springfield

4.8
#13 of 15 in Sightseeing in Springfield
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is the gift of Senator Thomas Rees, publisher of the Illinois state register from 1881-1933. During World War I, Rees served on the International Board of Arbitration for newspapers and later for unions, providing him the opportunity to travel Europe and beyond. Rees attributes his great interest in bells to visiting carillons in Belgium and the Netherlands- though his initial interest was the result of reading articles in National Geographic, the Musical Quarterly, and Art & Archeology by William Gorham Rice.

Rees provided a bequest to build his instrument, leaving specific instructions in his will regarding number of bells and its location. Robert Stuart, Springfield Park District President (1959-1975), carefully implemented the Senator's vision by consulting and hiring the architects, designers and the bell foundry when the carillon was constructed in 1962. The quality of the instrument coupled with size and location in the century old Washington Park distinguishes Rees Carillon as one of the world's finest instruments.

The Rees Carillon boasts 67 cast bronze bells covering a range of 5 1/2 chromatic octaves. Total weight equals 82,753 lbs; the largest (bourdon) bell weighs 7 1/2 tons with the smallest weighing 22 lbs. The instrument was cast by the 300-year-old bell foundry of Petit & Fritsen, Ltd., in Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands. All of the bells are played manually from a World Standard Keyboard installed in the year 2000.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
39 reviews
Google
4.7
  • The Rees Memorial Carillon is one of Springfield's treasures! It serenades us as we walk in the park and they often have special events that are well attended!  more »
  • I walked around in Washington Park. I love the sound of the carillon. This reminds me of the carillon at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. When I went to the park, I drove by a golf course and I ke...  more »
  • The Rees Memorial Carillon in the heart of Washington Park is a pleasant sort of surprise. The bells ring beautiful music for many special occasions, but also on a daily basis. Tours are provided too.  more »
Google
  • The music from our carillon can be heard around the surrounding neighborhoods; it's been so nice making memories with it. The carillon festival is coming up, and I can't wait! It's always nice when fireworks are set off to the music.
  • This memorial sent my wife and I for a loop, we were walking the park and noticed it over the trees. Filled with intrigue we went over to check it out. Very cool building in the park
  • The festival is a nice way to spend an evening and it's interesting to hear this played for the public. I enjoyed my visit and I'd go back again.
  • Simply a beautiful park for walking around. Can't beat it.
  • Part of the Washington park area, these beautiful Festival bells are wonderful to listen to. When the bells are not ringing this section of the park is full of young and old people enjoying the gardens and playing Pokemon Go. A joy for all ages.

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Where to stay in Springfield

In Springfield, you have two primary options: downtown and the commercial district in the southeast part of town near the highway. Downtown offers a handful of charming inns and bed and breakfasts, plus a few locally owned hotels in a neighborhood of historical buildings that contains numerous Lincoln-related sites. The national chain hotels to the southeast near the highway cater to travelers; they offer clean and comfortable rooms at competitive prices.
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