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Old 08.07.2020, 12:14
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How to live next to a church?

I recently moved in the centre of Lausanne. A few days in I discovered an unexpected source of annoyance. Bells. Every morning at 8, even on weekends. How do people even live with them? Don't they ever want to sleep longer? Especially now that it's summer and you want to sleep with windows open.

What's the big deal about the bells in Switzerland? It's otherwise such a quiet country, and all of a sudden this.

Any tips for soundproofing the window? I can't do any major reengineering like removing them and installing a new one since I'm renting the place. Any solution like soundproof curtains or blinds?
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Old 08.07.2020, 12:19
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Re: How to live next to a church?

I don´t register the sound anymore. Buy earplugs?
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Old 08.07.2020, 12:34
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Welcome to Switzerland (where I guess 90% of the population live within earshot of a church). We used to live next to one that donged every 15 minutes night and day. You're ears tune them out after a while.
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Old 08.07.2020, 12:47
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Re: How to live next to a church?

There are loads of old threads about this, and just for once the search function seems to bring up many of them.

Basically, the old threads conclude that there's nothing you can do about them, that you should consider ear plugs if they're really a problem, and that you'll get used to them over time.

Our local church is a couple of hundred meters away, but downhill from us, so we get the chimes on the hour and half hour all night, but I rarely notice them, even sleeping with the window open as we are at the moment. They cdrtainly don't disturb me or stop me from sleeping.
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Old 08.07.2020, 13:09
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Re: How to live next to a church?

hehe I can't tell you how many complaints I've seen on various forums, expat pages and the like about the Swiss church bells.

I personally love them, but can sympathize with those who don't. You will most likely get used to it. We have other noises on our street to block out, I bought this incredible HEPA air filter that has a fan that drowns out almost all noise. A normal fan would work too.

Best of luck for a good nights sleep!
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Old 08.07.2020, 14:10
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Be glad they only start at 8am. Some ring 24 hours a day and chime the quarter hours as well.
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Old 08.07.2020, 14:12
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Just so you know, in the years I've lived in Switzelrand, I've read multiple newspaper articles about legal fights to prevent church bell ringing (either altogether or just at specific times). If I can remember correctly, they've never won.

As others have written, the best would be to find a way to accept it (or move). Otherwise, you'll just stew in your own anger.
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Old 08.07.2020, 14:29
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Wake up before 8am.
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Old 08.07.2020, 14:33
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Re: How to live next to a church?

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Wake up before 8am.

We should open a "Trailing spouse problems" thread
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Old 08.07.2020, 15:14
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Re: How to live next to a church?

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Welcome to Switzerland (where I guess 90% of the population live within earshot of a church). We used to live next to one that donged every 15 minutes night and day. You're ears tune them out after a while.
I've twice lived next door to a church without bells. Highly recommended.

I left the city and moved to a village where the closest church is Catholic (in Zurich). Since there's a mismatch between the official religion and that church, they have different bell ringing rules. As a result, we don't really hear them unless the wind is moving a certain way.

Have you ever noticed how many hearing aid shops exist in Switzerland? This probably has something to do with it.
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Old 08.07.2020, 15:43
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Re: How to live next to a church?

I couldn’t help laughing at a complaint about 8am church bells! In my village, the bell rings to mark every 15 minutes - day & night. At 6am, there’s the usual 4 rings followed by 6 to mark the hour, and a minute later starts the continual ringing for about five minutes. This was traditionally the alarm call for any lazy Swiss who weren’t already up before 6am😊.

You won’t even notice it after a while. I live close to Zürich airport, and at first the noise from early morning and late evening flights annoyed me. As I really like where I live and couldn’t do anything about the flights, I decided that it’s something I have to accept. Pretty soon after that I realized that was having to deliberately listen out for the noise.
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Old 08.07.2020, 15:46
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Try living under a flight path. Before covid, cargo planes o knee after another from 6am to seven, sometimes earlier. Similar at night.

But... You get used to it.
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Old 08.07.2020, 16:07
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Re: How to live next to a church?

We once lived in the centre of three different church bells, they had different times. When extremely hot, think had to keep bedroom windows closed, shutters and curtains, but left windows other side of flat open and doors open for ventilation. Usually ok, with the odd giggle.


There was a flat in another town. It was amazing inside, everything looked so sparkling and new. It was almost under a Church's bells. One side of the flat used to shake. The living room went unused. Check out was very easy as flat used very limited apart from sleeping, cooking, no entertaining, there was much beautiful nearby outside space to use.


Every year driving past always laughed as it was for rent again, no-one ever extended their lease
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Old 08.07.2020, 17:09
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Re: How to live next to a church?

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We once lived in the centre of three different church bells, they had different times.
That’s intentional, it’s to confuse the devil. At least that’s how the genevois explain it.
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Old 08.07.2020, 17:31
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Cow bells, Church bells, the Swiss love their bells, as do I, I must admit. I'm guessing these are the bells of the Eglise Saint Francois, and they never bothered me when I lived in Lausanne!

My golden rule when buying or renting a place, is to hang around the area for a full day and well into the evening. That will give you an idea of what noises to expect and what goes on. Go to a local nearby bar and get chatting to the employees. Then you can decide if something will bother you or not. Better to waste a day than be miserable for a year or more.
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Old 08.07.2020, 17:49
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Pray to get used to the bells quickly? After all, you're at source.

It's a regular thing (couldn't be more regular in fact) so easy to get used to.
Depending on how punctual a person you are, they can even be helpful at times.
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Old 08.07.2020, 18:27
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Re: How to live next to a church?

We had bells from the church on the corner of our previous street every 15 minutes, plus the bells for mass in the evening. I thought it was lovely as in Scotland I only heard them on Sundays. I now live walking distance of another church and hear the bells every evening and on Sundays, I find it very pleasant.

8am isn't really early here, during the school terms I have kids going past my bedroom window at 7.30 am and I hear the squeals from the Kindergarten across the street I missed them when everything was in lockdown tbh.


Oh and when they have the open air kino up at Munsterplatz in Basel, the Munster bells always chime at a crucial point in the film being screened!
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Old 08.07.2020, 19:55
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Re: How to live next to a church?

It is quite nice to have to listen to only bells and boats...and not constant cops sirens and ambulances.
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Old 08.07.2020, 20:00
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Simply tell them to reduce the volume

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2953549508095702
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Old 08.07.2020, 20:31
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Re: How to live next to a church?

Its on my list of things to avoid while looking to buy a house...churches, dog rescue centers, railways, asbestos roofs, old school electric heating...

When looking through the pictues for a flat, a pictoresk church tower visible through a window is not cute, its a red flag !
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