© Alexandre Poirier
Cathedral Details

THE ORGAN

The great organ of Coutances cathedral

The organ in the cathedral was originally built for the abbey of Savigny Le Vieux. It was then purchased and installed, with new piping, in Coutances Cathedral in 1815. Restored in 1985, it is still in use today.

The organ and organ case : A treasure at the heart of the cathedral

Records suggest an organ already existed in the cathedral but it was probably partially destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1790, the current organ was bought from the abbey of Savigny Le Vieux and stored in the Circata. In 1812, it was rebuilt with the remains of the original organ (especially the pipes) and then modified in 1932, and the organ as it is today was created.

It was electrified after the Second World War in 1955. The friends of the cathedral association initiated a restoration of the organ in 1976 because its condition required it, followed by a restoration of the organ case in 1984.

Today, it is possible to listen to this magnificent instrument during the masses organised in the cathedral and also during the recitals that regularly take place there.

Did you know?

The cathedral’s pipe organ is 2 metres high and has an oak organ case. Composed of 4 keyboards, it is still in use today.

   Important information

  • Total height : 2 meters (6.5 ft)
  • 4 keyboards, 44 stops
  • The organ case dates from the 18th century
  • It has 3,500 pipes
  • Organ recitals are given there several times a year
  • It accompanies the Sunday Masses
  • It is crowned by angels playing the trumpet

   How to visit ?

  • Open to the public during the cathedral’s opening hours
  • Free visit with information on the cathedral published by the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire [the local heritage organisation] (free)
  • Audio-guided tour: audioguides for hire at the tourist office (€3)
  • Guided tour of the lower parts (Reservations at the Tourist office)
  • Guided tour of the upper parts (Reservations at the Tourist office)