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The Great Bell of Dhammazedi was cast in the late 15th century by order of King Dhammazedi of the Burmese kingdom Hanthawaddy, and presented to the Shwedagon Pagoda of Dagon, in present day Yangon, Myanmar. Made of copper, gold and silver, the bell was reported to have weighed nearly 300 tonnes —the largest bell ever cast.

Twenty four years later, in 1608, the fearful Portuguese warlord and mercenary Filipe de Brito sacked the pagoda and seized the bell with the intention of melting it down to make cannons for his ship. De Brito loaded the bell onto a raft for the journey across the Pazundaung Creek to Syriam. Unsurprisingly, the bell proved too heavy for the clumsy raft and it sank at the point where the Bago and Yangon Rivers met.

dhammazedi-bell-1

An artwork of the Great Bell of Dhammazedi. Photo credit: unknown

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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