In 1435, Guillaume de Rarogne brought an organ to the Valère basilica in Sion, Switzerland. Today, that organ is the world’s oldest playable organ in existence.

Guillaume, later becoming the Bishop of Sion, had it’s pipes arranged in the rough outline of a church: with smaller than usual keys and barely three octaves, the organ’s larger pipes form two towers, while the smaller ones create a triangular church roof.

Official Valère organist Edmond Voeffray says

“The organ in Valère is unique because the essential elements of its parts and mechanism were actually built in the Middle Ages. There are whole pipes that are original, which in itself is unique in the world. By 1700, this organ had been modified to play baroque music. Because of this, it’s not possible to say that it sounds as it did originally but it does give us a reasonably good idea of what medieval music sounded like, which is extraordinary.”

Watch the organ in action:

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