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Interview with Markus and Jacob from Orgelblau

The Basilica of the Pilar is without a doubt the emblem of our city and we, the citizens of Zaragoza feel very proud of it. One of the hidden gems of the Basilica is the organ that you can find inside. An instrument with 72 registers and four keyboards with a Renaissance acoustic box that dates back to 1462.

Thanks to an exhaustive restoration, the organ sounded again with all its splendor. In our hotel we had the chance to host the fabulous team in charge of working on the restoration and modernization of this instrument. This team is back again, and it would be better if there were no need to but, unfortunately, the organ needed to be dismantled and carefully cleaned. The goal is to finish all the works and have the organ ready for October 12th, the Day of the Pilar.

In this Interview´s Edition we have the pleasure to present you the team in charge of the works, his name is Orgelblau.

The citizens of Zaragoza we are very proud of El Pilar and what it represents, but the organ is still unknown to vast majority of people. What would you like to transmit to the local people and visitors to invite them to take a few minutes to contemplate the organ of El Pilar.

For visitors pipe organs have two faces. One face you can see and the other you can hear. Of course this is the biggest instrument.

The optic here is very unique, because the prospect (What you can see from downstairs) is so large and completely handmade in details from down up to the top. It’s united to the choro and is very old.

If you have the chance to hear a concert of the organ in el Pilar, the sound is magnificient, brilliant in my opinion. This organ has a lot of stops, so it is for an organ player possible to work with that instrument.

We had the opportunity to listen to this instrument before the accident, and it is a real joy for the ear. Why is such a unique instrument?

Every organ is unique 😉

How are the repair and cleaning works going on at the moment? Will the sound of the organ be as it was before?

Now the organ is finished cleaned up and kept in good conditions. Of course it will be the same organ like before, we don’t change the sound.

After your long stay in Zaragoza, have you discovered any particular interest that you have not found elsewhere in the world?

The cathedral La Seo. I think nowhere else you can find a cathedral from the inside like this.

Do you think that Zaragoza is an attractive place to spend your holidays?

I think it’s a nice city to stay a few days, to visit some special places walk through the many small streets, eat tapas and see how spanish people live.

During the many trips that you made for working reasons, we presume there are many anecdotes you can tell, what is the strangest and funniest thing ever happened to you in a hotel?

(Markus) I was in the shower and the cleaning up woman came inside.

(Jakob) I found underwear from a woman in the washed clothes.

What absurd or odd object you cannot miss in your suitcase?

(Markus) Pictures of my wife and son

(Jakob) Toiletry bag

We look forward to welcoming you again on your next trip for maintenance works reasons of the organ. How often should an instrument of these characteristics require cleaning, tuning or restoration?

What is different normally is the best. To look every year if everything is OK or just for tuning. Best time is cleaning the organ every 15 years, but that is variable from organ to organ.


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