The three missing bells were a gift of Tsar Alexander III to the then-fledgling American mission of the Russian Church in 1888. They were cast in Moscow by N.D. Findlandsky's Bell Foundry and are adorned with decorative scrollwork. Two carry the name of Findlandsky, the bell maker, in Cyrillic (Russian) characters.
Bells of this era and style are unique in America and rare even in Russia, where many bells were destroyed during the Second World War.
The ringing of the bells, which survived the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, is an integral part of the Orthodox Christian worship experience. The bells, a reminder of the close ties between Russia and America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are a key landmark in the Marina and Russian Hill districts of San Francisco.
The bells were stolen as the Cathedral is undergoing major renovation following a devastating fire that occurred in the early hours of Pascha (Easter) morning, 1998.
Anyone with information that may be of help in recovering these precious San Francisco treasures is urged to contact the San Francisco Police Department.
Holy Trinity Cathedral, the oldest Orthodox Cathedral community in the contiguous United States, is the seat of Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West, Orthodox Church in America. The Reverend Victor Sokolov has been Pastor of the Cathedral since 1991.