The great Haarlem organ

The great Haarlem organ

Interior of the St Bavo church in Haarlem

View of the St Bavo organ, seen through the choir screen

Organ of the St Bavo

The pipes of the St Bavo organ

Seeing all these colonnades of bone so methodically ranged about, would you not think you were inside of the great Haarlem organ, and gazing upon its thousand pipes?

The above quote comes from Herman Melville’s famous novel, Moby Dick. He compares the inside of the mouth of a whale with the great Haarlem organ.

This great Haarlem organ is the pipe organ of the St Bavo church in Haarlem. It was built in the 1730s, by celebrated German organ builder Christian Müller. At the time, it was the largest organ in the world. Some of the greatest musicians of all time played this organ: Mozart (at the age of ten), Mendelssohn, Händel.

The organ is still in use: You can see and hear it if you visit Haarlem in summer. For details, see the church’s website about the organ.

For opening hours and admission fees of the church, see their website. The church is at walking distance from the station.

Leave a Comment