Why a new organ?

The church of Notre Dame already had an organ in 1501. In 1665, a contract was established with the organ builder Sebald Manderscheidt for the construction of a positive with five registers, an instrument which was afterwards sold but which, after extraordinary historical vicissitudes, was installed in 1982 in the chapel of the old Hospital of the Bourgeois.


During the transformations of the Basilica between 1785-1787, an organ was commissioned from Joseph Anton Mooser, father of the renowned Aloys Mooser. The decoration of the organ case was by Dominique Martinetti. This instrument was completed in 1786 and underwent several transformations, before being replaced in 1916 by a new organ constructed by Henri Wolf-Giusto on the inside of the existing case. The painting attributed to Eugène Reichlen dates from this period. This latest instrument was sold in 1948 to the parish of Massonnens and replaced by an electronic organ. However, the organ builder Emile Dumas, who constructed the organ of Massonnens in 1949, decided in the end to not use the pieces coming from Notre Dame, which explains its disappearance. The Wurlitzer electronic organ of 1948 had to be replaced several times in order to ensure the musical accompaniment of the liturgy of the Basilica.


After the important restoration of the Basilica which took place these last two decades, the project to endow the Basilica with a new instrument became more and more prominent, given the importance of the shrine in the history of our city. This restoration will not be truly completed until the installation of a new organ!