On the twelfth of September 1683, the Turkish army was finally turned away from the city of Vienna. Among the things they left behind were the cannons with which they had bombarded the city through the long siege. The people of Vienna decided that those cannons could be put to a better use. So they melted them down and used the metal to cast a great bell. Then they mounted that enormous bell in the tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral in the heart of the city.

It rang for more than two hundred years calling people to the worship of God. The cannons of war became a bell of peace. It was a unique and dramatic way of beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.