Organ music in the Basilica

The organ-culture in the Basilica of the Holy Blood has existed for a much longer period of time than  people suspect. As early as the 16th century we find organs and organbuilders in the accounts of the Noble Confraternity of the Holy Blood. In the archives we find several organbuilders who either repaired or built a new organ during the 16th, 17th and 18th century.

Important names are: Lauweryns Veldam, Jan Waghers (16th century), Crespin du Bois, Boudewijn Ledou (17th century).

In 1751 Isabelle Claesman, daughter of Baron Van Male, made a present of a new organ, built by the renowned organbuilder of Bruges, Andries Jacob Berger (1712-1774). This valuable instrument was destroyed (or disappeared anyway) during the French Revolution.

The Brugean organbuilder Hooghuys built a new organ in 1836. It is placed on a new rood-loft against the west facade. Unfortunatly it had to be removed to enable the placement of a new glass window. Rood-loft and organ were demolished in 1854 and sold to chaplain Slock from Roeselare.

In 1923 the Chapel of the Holy Blood is elevated to a Basilica. For this important occasion the organbuilder Jules Anneessens from Menen is given the commission to build a new organ. This late romantic instrument is placed in the Basilica in 1925.

In the course of history the organists of the Basilica usually played the organ of the Cathedral of Saint Donatius (now disappeared) as well.

An organ service is performed monthly since autumn 2012.