The Netherlands Carillon - United States

The Netherlands Carillon

The people of the Netherlands gave the carillon to the people of the United States to thank America for liberating the Netherlands during World War II and helping rebuild the Dutch economy through the Marshall Plan.

The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon timeline

April 4, 1952

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands symbolically presented the carillon to President Truman. A temporary bell tower (with temporary bells) was installed in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C.

May 5, 1954

Forty-nine bells were installed in another temporary tower in west Potomac Park, Washington, D.C., where they were formally accepted by the United States.

May 5, 1960

The official dedication of the (then 49) bells and the permanent tower was held on the monuments current location, George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington, Va., on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

February 28th, 1995

The soth bell was presented to President Clinton by the Netherlands Prime Minister Wim Kok, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

April 2020

The three new bells are cast by Royal Eijsbouts.

April 2021

All 53 bells of the Netherlands Carillon are shipped back to the United States from the Netherlands.

May 5-8, 2021

The three new bells are displayed during an exhibition at the embassy in Washington, D.C.

May 20, 2021

The Marshall Bell is hoisted up into the carillon.

May 5, 2022

The carillon reopens with a rededication ceremony and the inaugural Freedom Concert.

May 10, 2023

Second Annual Freedom Concert

The carillon and its 53 bells symbolize the friendship between the two nations, which share a common history and values, including a dedication to democracy, entrepreneurship, and the freedom of speech and religion.

Queen Juliana visited the United States in 1952 and gave President Truman a token of the carillon that would soon be built.

The carillon, designed by Dutch architect Joost Boks, was last restored in the mid-1990s, but time has taken its toll. So the National Park Service and the Royal Netherlands Embassy teamed up with the Netherland-America Foundation and corporate donors to restore and upgrade the Netherlands Carillon.

The project began October 21, 2019, with a ceremony on the grounds. The tower will be rebuilt on site while the bells were taken back to the Netherlands for repairs and tuning. Three bells will also be added, raising the instrument’s status to a “grand carillon.”

All 53 bells returned to the United States in April 2021.

Shortly after, the embassy held an exhibit of the three new bells, which are dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Secretary George C. Marshall.

The Marshall Bell was hoisted up into the carillon during a ceremony in May 2021.

The Netherlands Carillon reopened on May 5, 2022, with a rededication ceremony and Freedom Concert.