St-Merry was built between 1510 and 1552 in a flamboyant Gothic style, replcing earlier churches, dating back to the 7th century. In the 18th century, some renovations were carried out in a baroque style. The bell tower contains the oldest bell in Paris, cast in 1331.
The church has the same layout as Notre-Dame cathedrals: the length of the choir is almost the same as the length of the nave, hence its nickname "Small Notre-Dame". The stained glass windows of the nave dates back to the 16th century.
The organ case is built by Germain Pilon in 1647. The instrument itself was built by Jean and Francois De Héman, probably using parts of a former organ. The tribune and the positif-case were modified by the brothers Slodtz in 1755. In 1778, 1782 and 1791, the organ was rebuilt by Francois-Henri Clicquot and Claude-Francois Clicquot. In 1857 the organ was reconstructed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. In 1947, Victor Gonzalez carried oiut a hybrid restauration, adding some new stops.
In 1999-2000, Dargassies restored the Barker machine, the wind system, added a new air-supply and repaired some urgent problems concerning the pipework.
A substantial part of the pipework dates still from before the revolution. The wind-chest of the GO and positif are from Clicquot. The Montre 16' GO and the Trompette 8' GO dates to the 17th century. The majority of the principals, flutes and anches are from Clicquot.
Despite its extensive history of modifications, renovations, reconstructions and restaurations, this organ seems still a potentially great representative of the classical French organ. It deserves a comprehensive restauration to show its former glory again!
|Main builder||History||Latest restauration|
|1781 - FH Clicquot||
1647 - De Héman
1719/1736 - Collard
1755 - Slodtz
1781 - Clicquot
1816 - Dallery
1822 - Abbey
1857 - Cavaillé-Coll
1947 - Gonzalez
1999/2000 - Dargassies
|1947 - Gonzalez|
IV/64 - Mechanical traction
Titulaires: Jean-Marc Leblanc - Stéphane Béchy
Famous organists in the past: Nicolas Lebégue (1630-1702), Jean-François Dandrieu (1681-1738) et Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), Norbert Dufourq (1923-1990).
Masses with organ: saturday 18.30 h sunday 10.00 h
AUDIO: not available
Specific links: site of the organ