In addition to the famous cathedral treasure, the mighty baroque organ case with its unique side consoles is another highlight of the Halberstadt Cathedral.
In 1712 the cathedral chapter decided to have Heinrich Herbst build an organ on a new West gallery. During the construction an unconventional decision was made to leave a tunnel straight through the organ instead of a constructing a console in the middle of the substructure. This was done “in order to keep the light in the church through the organ”. (from a letter from Heinrich Herbst of March 3, 1714)
The position of the organ case, which is decorated with rich carvings, has greatly changed over time. The famous light tunnel was closed so that nothing of the baroque lighting around and through the organ remained. Today, the organ is in desperate need of restoration. The organ case is structurally unstable and parts of it have broken off. The great organ which was built in 1965 during a period of post-war shortages also urgently needs to be renovated from the ground-up to preserve its historical elements.
Well-known organ builders and experts such as Patrick Collon, a Belgian organ builder, advised on the future of the organ of Halberstadt Cathedral. Their recommended that not only the organ, but also the entire west hall of the cathedral should be integrated into the renovation project. The necessary restoration of the organ case with the opening of the light tunnel and the renewal of the organ offers the unique opportunity to reinstate the original architecture of the west gallery and to regain the historical lighting around and through the organ.
The cathedral with its 1000-year organ history and its precious baroque organ case obliges to a special organ.