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 carillon and its 50 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.
As of June 2021, the Netherlands Carillon is still undergoing renovation, but we will continue to update this page as the project progresses.
Ambassador André Haspels inspected the progress of the extensive bell restoration at Royal Eijsbouts on February 3. Read more about his visit.
Ambassador Haspels visited the Netherlands Carillon to inspect the progress of the bell tower renovation on October 21, 2020. Read more about the visit.
The Netherlands Embassy organized a socially distanced outdoor exhibition of the three new bells of the Netherlands Carillon in early May. See photos from the exhibit.
The Marshall Bell was hoisted up into the carillon during a ceremony on May 20, 2021. Here’s a video of the ceremony: