Merten Friese | Bazylika Mariacka . Gdańsk [Poland]

web crop MeFri Gda Diego Delso 2_CC BY-SA 3.0

Photography by Diego Delso
icon_01-40 icon_01-39
icon_01-35 icon_01-37
icon_01-30 icon_01-42
icon_01-26 icon_01-28
icon_01-22 icon_01-24


The current instrument existing in the Bazylika Mariacka was built originally by Merten Friese, the main organ builder in Gdańsk during the first half of the seventeenth century, and was initially installed in the Kościół św. Jana (St. John’s church). During the war, in 1945, the existing organ in the Bazylika Mariacka was destroyed – an instrument with 88 stops built from 1935 to 1938, with an electrical connection to a 32 register choir organ. The Kościół św. Jana organ had been dismantled in 1943 and the remaining parts (organ case and most of the facade pipes) were reassembled in 1945, already in the Bazylika Mariacka.

The instrumental part had to be completely built from scratch (with the exception of the remaining façade pipes), a task assigned to the organbuilding workshop of Hillebrand. The construction was carried according to traditional organ building methods and the stoplist was chosen based on the original Friese stoplist. The organ has 46 registers distributed along 3 manuals and pedal, has mechanical traction and wedge bellows. The Principal ranks are different in their construction and sound, giving each section a specific character – as exemplified by the differences between the Hauptwerk Principal 16’ rank, built with a lead-zink alloy, and the Pedal Principal 16’, built with wood.

Keyboards have been built with African Blackwood and ivory, stop knobs are made of African Blackwood with silver numbers over amber fillings and the register names are inscribed over silver plates.


1625-1629 – organ construction for Kościół św. Jana by Merten Friese
1981-1985 – organ reconstruction by Hillebrand


Rückpositiv Hauptwerk Brüstwerk Pedal
Prinzipal 8′ Prinzipal 16′ Gedackt 8′ Prinzipal 16′
Gedackt 8′ Oktave 8′ Trawersflöte 8′ Subbas 16′
Quintadena 8′ Hohlflöte 8′ Prinzipal 4′ Oktave 8′
Oktave 4′ Spillpfeife 8′ Gedackt 4′ Gedackt 8′
Rohrflöte 4′ Oktave 4′ Spitzflöte 2′ Quinte 5 1/3′
Nasat 2 2/3′ Spillflöte 4′ Terz 1 3/5′ Oktave 4′
Oktave 2′ Quinte 2 2/3′ Quinte 1 1/3′ Quintade 4′
Waldflöte 2′ Oktave 2′ Sifflöte 1′ Bauernflöte 1′
Scharff V Sesquialtera II Regal 8′ Mixtur V
Zimbel IV Mixtur VII Schalmey 4′ Posaune 32′
Trompete 8′ Trompete 16′ Posaune 16′
Dulcian 8′ Trompete 8′
Cornett 4′

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s