Krone Krone Krone

Bedheim, Kilianskirche


HW and P Caspar Schippel 1711, swallows' nest: Nikolaus Seeber 1721.

State of preservation: 14 stops whole or in parts. Already out of use in 1737 obviously. Repairs 1773, 1827/8 and 1856; restoration by Schuke 1994-1994

The small village of Bedheim in southern Thuringia  possesses an organ unique worldwide. The main organ is on the western gallery as usual, the parapet positve, however, is not placed in the western parapet but opposite on the eastern wall above the altar.

The church was built 1696-1699, its organ on the gallery in 1711. On contract by the lord of the manor Johann Philipp von Heßberg a second manual was built by Nikolaus Seeber in 1721 as a swallows' nest organ. After various repairs Michael Schmidt of Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig remodeled the swallows' nest into a romantic Fernwerk in 1827/28. In 1934 the local priest Gerhard Müller tried, without success, to get the silent instrument to sound again. After the second world war the local youth ravished the construction to use the trackers for kites. In 1956/1957 Gerhard Kirchner of Weimar and Gustav Kühn of Schleusingen repaired the instrument, in 1976 Hans Helfenbein of Gotha built two new stops,  Posaune 16’ and Trompete 8’.

In 1996 the organ was restored after a thorough preliminary investigation to its state of 1721 by Alexander Schuke (Potsdam) in cooperation with  Hartmut Haupt (Jena),  the 14 preserved ranks supplemented with another four reconstructed after comparisons with the Seeber organ in Haina and the Schippel organ in Pfersdorf.

Music sample

J.S. Bach : Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (aus dem Orgelbüchlein) BWV 639
played by Hartmut Haupt



II/P, 18 

C, D-c3 ; pedal C, D-c1

II. Manual (HW)

Gedackt 8'
Viola da Gamba 8'
Quintatöna 8'

Principal 4'

Kleingedackt 4'
Octav 2'
Sesquialtera 2f
Mixtur 3f

I. Manual (RP)

Gedackt 8'
Großprincipal 4'
Hohlflöten 4'

Principal 2'

Quinta 1 1/2'
Cymbel 2f
Hautbois 8'


Violon 16'
Subbaß 16'

Principalbaß 8'


Zymbelstern, tremulant

coupler manuals; pedal stop

transposing coupler upper manual;
pitch:  2 semitones higher than a1=440 Hz; temperament after Bach-Kellner


© Greifenberger Institut für Musikinstrumentenkunde |