Churches with Silbermann Organs
Map showing locations
CDs - Bach on Silbermann Organs
To begin, if you have not already done so, you might like to visit
GOTTFRIED SILBERMANN: Master Organ-Builder of the German Baroque.
for the general background story and biography of this unique organ-builder. Friend and colleague of JS Bach, famed for his celebrated "silver sounds", craftsman, musician - and acoustician!
This present site is maintained to help you see and hear some of Silbermann's fine instruments by providing info on location, schedules of church-open times and recitals, contacts for further info.... and a picture of the organ. If there are any blank spaces... we're working on it! Please remember that you can at least count on hearing an organ on Sundays, when all the churches large and small have Services.
How conveniently Gottfried Silbermann located his instruments - convenient for the modern-day organ-lover that is! Virtually all of Silbermann's instruments are located in the State of Saxony. You can start at Dresden in the east, or the picturesque Burgk Castle in the west (actually just outside Saxony, in Thuringia), and travel from one side of Saxony to the other. The map below shows the locations of all Gottfried Silbermann organs. We will start in the Dresden area to the east, and work westwards, listing the organs in four groups:
In addition to your general road map, you will need larger scale maps to find the many small villages where GS built his instruments. Sheets 36 and 37 in Mair's Marco Polo series at 1cm to 2km will cover all the organs listed below. Mark the organ locations with yellow highlight - several can often be visited on one circular tour especially in the Frauenstein area.
|DRESDEN AREA - East Saxony|
DRESDEN - Trinity Cathedral (previously Hofkirche)|
Organ: 1755. 3M+P/47. Silbermann died during construction; work completed by apprentices. 1944 pipework dismantled and stored safely. 1971 reassembled with few alterations, in newly built casework. Restoration by Jehmlich, 2002.
Open/Recitals: In addition to Sunday Services, the Cathedral is normally open from 9am to 5pm Mon-Thur, 1pm-5pm Fri, and 1030am-4pm Sat. Half-hour Organ Recitals Wednesdays at 1145am. Organ Vespers Saturdays at 4pm May-Oct.
Other attractions: In 1736 Silbermann built a magnificent 3M+P/43 organ for Dresden's Frauenkirche. In 1945 organ and church were completely destroyed. The Frauenkirche lay in ruins until 1994; its rebuilding has been a monumental effort, each stone in the pile of ruins was identified according to original plans with characteristic German precision, with new stone filling the gaps. Look for the old weathered, alongside the new bright stone blocks, so to identify old and new. A monumental effort indeed, completed in 2005.
Location: 13km E of Dresden on Rte 6. Then S on the Pirna road. After 4km, turn E to Dittersbach.
Organ: 1726. 1M+P/14. Good, new zinc frontal pipes.
Open/Recitals: For information contact
Location: Rte 170 S out of Dresden to Dippoldiswalde. Turn E on the Glashütte road 4.5km then N 3km to Reinhardtsgrimma.
Organ: 1731. 2M+P/20. Very good, many alterations and renewals.
Services/Open/Recitals: The communiy's German-language website offers full information about the community plus concert details in the Schloss and on the Silbermann organ.
|FREIBERG AREA - North-central Saxony|
Location: 27km SW of Dresden.
The Silver City of Freiberg is proud home today to no less than four Silbermann organs in three churches. In the Jakobi-Kirche a two-manual, 20-register organ built in 1717; in the Petrikirche a larger, two manual organ with 32 registers built in 1735; and in the cathedral, two Silbermann instruments. The smaller, below center, is a one-manual instrument, originally built for the Johannis-Kirche and moved to the cathedral in 1939.
The larger of the cathedral's organs must surely rank as one of the world's finest: the three-manual, 44-register instrument illustrated at left. Amazingly perhaps, this magnificent instrument was only Silbermann's second work, built between 1711 and 1714. It was thoroughly restored in 1982/1983. The case was designed by the then organist, Elias Lindner, the angel which heads this page being a part of the side decoration.
Services/Open/Recitals: Freiberg Cathedral is proud of its Silbermann Organ and provides ample opportunity for visits and auditioning. Cathedral guided tours with organ introduction are held on Sundays at 11am throughout the year, and additionally on Thursdays at 2pm from May to October. Also from May to October, the 8pm Thursday organ recitals are a long tradition much enjoyed.
Freiberg is also host to the Silbermann Organ Festival and International Organ Competition held every two years (odd-numbered years, 2001 etc) in autumn. Details from:|
Obermarkt 16, 09599 Freiberg/Sa. GERMANY
For accommodation and general information about the Freiberg area including information on the other two churches with Silbermann organs, contact:
Location: 10km NE of Freiberg on Rte 173.
Organ: 1716. 1M+P/14. Good condition, some alterations.
Location: ENE out of Freiberg 20 km to Hainichen, 9km on to Mittweida, then N 10km to Schweikershain.
Organ: 1750. 1M/6. Very good, one new register.
Location: ENE out of Freiberg 20 km to Hainichen. 1.5km further on the Mittweida road, take a Right to Rossau and Ringethal.
Organ: 1723. 1M/6. Good, little altered.
Location: Take the 173 about 8km E out of Freiberg, watch for a R turn to Frenkenstein 2km further on.
Organ: 1753. 1M+P/13. Good, but alterations and unrecorded repairs.
|FRAUENSTEIN AREA - South-central Saxony|
Location: Frauenstein is located 21km SE of Freiberg.|
The picturesque little town of Frauenstein lies at the heart of "Silbermann Territory", and its Castle is home to the unique Gottfried Silbermann Museum. The Museum was founded in 1983 by, and based on the research of, Werner Müller (1924-1999) whose two books are the definitive reference works on the life and work of Gottfried Silbermann.
The Museum contains numerous valuable and original documents of specifications, contracts and letters pertaining to Silbermann's life and his various commissions.
A full-size working exhibit by Jehmlich organ-builders of Dresden shows simply and clearly the operation of an organ from bellows through the action of stops and keys, to the pipes.
In pride of place is a beautiful single manual instrument built in 1993 by Wegscheider of Dresden. It is an exact copy of an extant Silbermann organ dating from 1732. Concerts and recitals are given regularly in the Silbermann Museum, and in the numerous village churches with Silbermann organs.
Silbermann's birthplace is commemorated in nearby Kleinbobritzsch, as also is the building in Frauenstein where young Gottfried went to school.
Contact: For accommodation listings, concerts, events etc contact:
Website: For the latest information about concerts on Silbermann organs, including concerts and recitals in Frauenstein Museum, check
Herzlich Willkommen in der Silbermannstadt Frauenstein!
Location: Nassau is just a short 6km down the 171 S of Frauenstein - take a Right to the village and church.
Organ: 1748. 2M+P/19. Very good, original condition largely preserved.
Nassau is a sub-district of Frauenstein.
Location: From Frauenstein, follow Rte 171 first S then W to Sayda (20km). Take a R towards Freiberg; after 4km take a L through Dörnthal to Forchheim, a further 10km.
Organ: 1726. 2M+P/20. Very good, pedalboard enlarged.
Location: From Frauenstein, follow Rte 171 on its tortuous way first S then W to Sayda (20km). Pfaffroda is 5km further on, to the R.
Organ: 1715. 1M+P/14. Original condition largely preserved.
|REICHENBACH AREA - Southwest Saxony|
Location: Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx Stadt) is 70 km SW of Dresden on Rte E41. Continue on Rte E441branch to Exit 9 then head N 5km on Rte 94 to Reichenbach.
Organ: 1725. 2M+P/29. Though rebuilt, with only casework and part pedal register retained.... it's still a very handsome instrument!
Location: 18km due S of Leipzig on Rte 2.
Organ: There are two Silbermann organs in Rötha.
The St Marien organ illustrated left built a year later in 1722 with 1M+P/11, condition good, hardly altered.
Organ: 1737. 2M+P/27. Good, few renewals.
Website: For full information on concerts and recitals, check the website:
Location: From Reichenbach head N towards Werdau which is 15km. Just before Werdau, that is, after about 12km, watch for a left taking you directly into Fraureuth.
Organ: 1742. 2M+P/20. Good, original condition preserved.
Location: From Reichenbach head W on Rte 94 to Greiz -Zeulenroda-Schleiz (42km). Then take a country road R to Möschlitz and Burgk (6km).
Organ: 1743 rebuild of a 1639 organ built by Caspar Kerll (father of composer JC Kerll. Final specification 1M+P/12. Thorough restoration in 1982 by Eule of Bautzen. Original condition preserved.
Open/Recitals: The Castle is located in a very picturesque area, on a hill overlooking a bend in the Saale River, and is itself a major tourist attraction. Concerts and recitals are given regularly in the chapel, many by leading international organists. For further information contact: