[kam-puh-nee-lee, -neel; It. kahm-pah-nee-le]
campanile, Italian form of bell tower, constructed chiefly during the Middle Ages. Built in connection with a church or a town hall, it served as a belfry and watch tower and often functioned as a civic or commemorative monument. The campanile generally stands as a detached unit. At the top is the bell platform, where the main architectural emphasis, generally a group of arched openings, is concentrated. Originating in the 6th cent., the campaniles were the earliest church towers in Europe and were generally circular in shape; examples of this type remain at Ravenna. Beginning with the 8th cent., the square plan became most common, being constructed in all parts of Italy. The Lombardy section produced the richest development of the campanile. Brick is the material most used, often combined with stone for the cornices and string courses, the latter surrounding the tower at each story level in the Roman examples. The celebrated campanile of Florence, known as Giotto's campanile (1334), is entirely faced in marble and ornamented with sculptures. Also of marble is the leaning tower at Pisa.

A campanile – pronounced /kampaˈni:le/ – is, especially in Italy, a free-standing bell tower, often adjacent to a church or cathedral. The word derives from the Italian campanile, from campana (bell).

The most famous campanile is probably the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Other notable examples include St Mark's Campanile in St Mark's Square, Venice. Campaniles outside of Italy are often modeled after St Mark's.

At the beginning of the nineteen eighties the theme Campanile was revised by H. R. Hiegel and Florian Mausbach.

After a spectacular design by architect H.R. Hiegel dating from the year 1983, in 1990 Helmut Jahn built the Frankfurt Messeturm.

Modern campaniles often contain carillons, a musical instrument traditionally composed of at least 23 large bells which are sounded by cables, chains, or cords connected to a keyboard. These can be found at some college and university campuses. In modern construction, rather than using heavy bells the sound may be produced by the striking of small metal rods whose vibrations are amplified electronically and sounded through loudspeakers.

The tallest free-standing campanile in the world is the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, located at the University of Birmingham, UK. although its actual height is the subject of some confusion. The university list it as tall, whereas other sources state that it is tall.

List of campaniles

This is a list of campaniles found on Wikipedia:






New Zealand


South Africa

  • Port Elizabeth (Erected to commemorate the landing of the 1820 Settlers)

United Kingdom

United States









  • The World War II Memorial Carillon and Campanile at the University of Kansas (120 ft (36.6 m); 53 bells)


  • Louisiana State University World War One Memorial Bell Tower (Memorial Tower)
    • Also known as the Campanile, this 175-ft (53.3 m) structure was built in 1923 and dedicated in 1926 as a memorial to Louisianans who died in WWI. On the rotunda walls are bronze plaques bearing the names of those to whom the tower is dedicated. (The names of the black soldiers were recently added.) Chimes ring every quarter hour. The cornerstone in front of the tower was excavated from the ruins of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy in Pineville (LSU's first incarnation), one half describes the history, while the other half is inscribed with the names of the first board of supervisors and faculty.
    • The plaza area in front of Memorial Tower has served as a place of both ceremony and celebration. The University’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on the plaza and attracts many visitors to the area. In addition, Student Government holds the formal installation for its new President and Vice President each spring. There are also several traditions attached to it, especially kissing in the plaza at midnight on Valentine's Day.



New York

North Carolina


South Dakota




Other uses

Campanile is also the name of the Mount Saint Joseph Academy Newspaper. Campanile is also the name of the Palo Alto High School newspaper, and the Rice University yearbook.

See also


External links

Search another word or see campanileon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature