In October 1516, 180 mules brought, from Lyon, 600 quintals of metal to make three bells including the famous « Non Pareille » (the weight of metal is given in old measure which is difficult to transpose today).
Melted on the spot, the bell is hoisted in 1517 in the large bell tower. The particular shape of the vault, interrupted by a circle of about 4 meters would signal its passage.
It was baptized François in honour of the bishop. The name of Marie Thérèse that we find today is much later.
Reading the figures, we can understand the nickname “Non Pareille”: 3.25 meters in diameter, 2.75 meters in height and 33 centimeters in thickness!
It has long been believed that this bell weighs 25 tons, studies tend to indicate today that it weighs between 12 and 12.5 tons.
At the time, the “Non Pareille” was the biggest bell in all of Christianity!
Tradition says that it could be heard nearly 15 kilometers around and that people with fragile hearts as well as mothers who had young children took refuge in the cellars when it rang.
Unfortunately, this bell was destroyed by Huguenot captain Mathieu Merle.
He had taken advantage of the deafening sound of the bell at the end of the 1579 Christmas celebration to cover his attack on the city.
The bell is melted down to make cannons, with the exception of the clapper.
The latter is made from an alloy of iron and copper, unsuitable for the production of cannons, which is why it is the only vestige preserved today.