Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
organy na terenie całego sanktuarium

opracowanie: o. Julian Mieczysław Śmierciak OFM

III Upadek, Grób M.B., Wieczernik, Domek M.B., Ukrzyżowanie, Piłat i inne 

The many organs in the history of the Sanctuary at Kalwaria Zebrzydowska


The churches and chapels in the grounds of the Sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska are not only a treasury of architectural, religious and cultural values but also a rich source for researchers of instrumentology.

In the 400 year history of Kalwaria, ten organs have been built in its seven churches, of these six still exist.  In some of the churches old organs have been replaced with new ones, however they are all of considerable historical interest and value.  A spatial view of the placement of organs in Kalwaria, together with the period of their construction is shown in diag. 1.  Such a large number of instruments in the grounds of a single sanctuary is a significant event among other Polish and European Calvarias.

Organs exist or have existed in the following locations.

1.  The main church (now Basilica) – 2 organs

a)  Small Organ – built in 1642 or earlier.  Initially Positiv (I/9) then in 1904 Aleksander Żebrowski from Lwów added 1 pedal stop.  The location of the organ was changed (3 different locations identified by numbers in diag. 2).  In 1923 it was moved to the Bernardine church in Radecznica.

b)  The Great Organ – built in 1706 by Euzebiusz Pasierbski OFM (IIP/26, Manual C-f3, Pedal:C1-c, 2 bellows, mechanical action, Baroque case). The organ was initially smaller (IP/10), but subsequently extensively rebuilt on 3 occasions.

-      In 1812 Jakub Stankiewicz extended the organ case, added a positive, a second Manual and 20 stops (IIP/30, Ec-C3).

-      In 1846 Jan Długi added 2 new stops, extended the range of the keyboard (4.5 octaves C-f3)

-      In the period 1902-03 Aleksander Żebrowski replaced slider chests with cone chests.  Reduced the number of stops to 26, a number of these he replaced with new ones with “romantic” characteristics.

Despite many subsequent repairs it retains 65% of the old stops and the original Baroque case from 1706.

2.  Church of the Crucifixion – first organ built after 1623.  The current one in 1902 by Aleksander Żebrowski from Lwów.  (IP/6, Manual C-c4, Pedal C1-C, 1 bellows, mechanical action, Neo-classical case).

3.  Church of the Tomb of the Mother of God – first organ built in the 17th century. The current one in the period 1794-97 by Jakub Stankiewicz. (IP/10, Manual Ec-c3, Pedal E1-G#, 1 bellows, Mechanical Action, Late Baroque case).

4.  Church of The Third Fall – organ built before 1784.  Fundamentally rebuilt in 1807 by Jakub Stankiewicz. (I/7, Manual Ec-c3, 1 bellows, Mechanical Action, Rococo case).

In the remaining three churches the organs were built by Jakub Stankiewicz from Zator and the cases by Br. Jan Tuliński OFM.

5.  Church of the Home of the Mother of God – 1807 (I/6, Manual Ec-c3, 2 bellows, Mechanical Action, Classical Baroque case).  Only the organ Case remains.

6.  Pilate’s Chapel – beginning of 19th Century.  The organ no longer exists.

7.  Church of the Last Supper – at the turn of 18th/ 19th Century. (I/6, Manual Ec-c3, 2 bellows, Mechanical Action, Classical Baroque case).  Only the organ case and part of the chest remains.

All the remaining instruments, despite the many repairs, are historically valuable and of considerable interest to both historians and instrumentologists alike.

This paper presents only the most important information on all the organs.  Historical data is taken directly from historical sources.  Description of the current state is on the basis of study and inspection of the instruments undertaken by the author in the period 1999 – 2001.

Translated: Jerzy Biegus