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Discovering the historic church organs

An alternative journey into Umbrian culture, far from the usual destinations: discover the musical tradition of Amelia.

Ready to explore Umbria's more alternative and novel aspects? You've come to the right place: here are a few suggestions to discover this land's musical side. In particular, let us take you to Amelia and its environs: together, we will go on a journey to get to know the local historic church organs.

These precious instruments are rightly considered to be artistic masterpieces in their own right, so much so that still today they are proudly held in the most beautiful and famous local churches. In the city centre, for example, in the cathedral, one can find not one but two organs: one of these, the largest one, was built by the Rieger Firm of Austrian Silesia (1904). The other one instead is a product of the Roman 17th century school and features its classic transportation system: it is easy to carry on wagons during religious festivities and processions.

However, among the many examples that Amelia can boast, the most prestigious one is to be found in the church of the Benedictine nunnery of San Magno (1678, Willelm Hermans). This organ was supposed to be played by the cloistered sisters themselves. Its peculiarity is that of having one keyboard up in the choir, and one down on the church's ground floor, in a closet.

Other noteworthy organs are located in the churches of Avigliano Umbro, Collicello, Foce, Guardea, Toscolano and Giove. Nearly none of these, however, has a precise known date of production, except for the one in the church of Santa Chiara in Lugnano in Teverina, which dates from the year 1756 and is signed by the German master Johannes Conradus Werler.

Further confirming this long musical tradition, the town boasts the Maggio Organistico festival which for the past 30 years has seen the organization of numerous concerts in area churches during the month of May.