The origins of bell founding dates back to the ancient chapter of a mankind history. Nevertheless this is Christianity which/that has introduced a bell as a ritual object and thus speeded up the development of this particular craftsmanship. The whole world of the time started to build slender bell towers with the most intriguing instruments hidden inside them. Beautiful voices of bells have finally began to spread the glory of God.
The saga of eight generations of Felczyński family began in Kałusz (Kalush) over 200 years ago. Today it is an Ukrainian town located in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. In 1808 Michał Felczyński set up the first bell foundry in that part of Europe. He was probably an apprentice of German or Italian craftsmen settled in the former territories of Galicia. After Michał’s death in 1866 the work was continued by his four sons (from first and second marriage) and then the grandsons: Stefan, Jan, Józef (first marriage) and Kazimierz, Ludwik, Michał, Jan, Kajetan (second marriage).
1948 - 2010
Przemyśl – the heart of Polish bell casting
The main branch of the bell founders operating in Przemyśl derives from Jan Felczyński, the great-grandson of the progenitor Michał. He died in 1979 at the age of 8… dedicating his whole life to the art of bell casting. Against the father’s will Jan, who was supposed to go at the university, decided to learn the craftsmanship in his relatives’ manufacture in Kałusz. After years of practice and hard work he opened his own foundry in Stanisławów (now Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine). Unfortunately, the slowly escalating inter-war economic crisis forced him to shut down everything and not long after that, being called up to the army, he moved to Przemyśl . Here in 1948 he reactivated the foundry as „Odlewnia i Naprawa Dzwonów Jana Felczynskiego” (Jan Felczynski – bell casting and regeneration). Jan Felczyński brought to life not only hundreds of bells recognized at the local and international fair trades (e.g. in Poznań or in Florence) like over 7 tones Gratia Dei, but also created many bronze plaques and, what is interesting, he cast three symbolic bronze bears for the fountain in Przemyśl. In the late 70’s he was joined by his grandaughters’ husbands who still masters this profession. One of the largest bell ever cast in the foundry after 1979 is "Władysław" (9,5 tones; 2000) for the Church of Blessed Władysław from Gielniowo in Warsaw. Not long after that in 2001 5 tones "Jezus Maryja" was cast. The replica of a bell from XVI century belonged to monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa and was cast on the occasion of 600th anniversary of this sacred place.
Since 2010 the family tradition has been continued and developed by Piotr Olszewski, the great-grandson of Jan Felczyński.
The foundry run by Piotr Olszewski, who masters the skills under the watchful eye of his father Waldemar, has taken the official name of “Pracownia Ludwisarska Jana Felczynskiego”. For the last few years our company managed to run some important and prestigious projects. We are focused on intensive research on quality of bell sound and therefore we are proud to have cast:
Comprehensive analysis of the bell acoustic allowed us to develop a new profile which quality exceeds those used before by Felczyński family. Due to a fact that the most intensive works were carried on when the bell "St. John Paul II" was being prepared we decided to call the whole new series Royal Bells. Learn more about new bell profile.