Organy dawnego kościoła ewangelickiego w Strzelcach Opolskich
The pipe organ from the former protestant church in Strzelce Opolskie
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the literature connected with the history of organ building there are many articles describing the history of organ instruments that are contemporary non-existent e.g. those that did not survive the turbulent times of the Second World War and its political and economic consequences in the whole of Europe. The area of the very rich organ building history is Silesia where three cultures: Polish, German and Czech have coexisted for ages. There is no doubt that the true image of the organ building history in Silesia can only be achieved by a meticulous search, presentation and analysis of old documents. Obviously, it would be ideal if all the described instruments still existed. It is worth noticing that reconstructing the organ building history in Silesia on the basis of archive material describing the history of the non-existent instruments is a very desirable action with a high classification and research benefits. This article presents an organ that was enriching the musical and liturgical life of the evangelical community in Strzelce Opolskie before the Second World War. There are only few parts from the original instrument that are preserved in the attic of the church. Thanks to the book of documents about the organ that can be found in the National Archives Office in Opole, we can not only reconstruct the history of this instrument but also obtain important information in the context of the whole organ building history in Silesia. Strzelce Opolskie is a small town near Opole. The old evangelical church is situated in the centre of the town near the Town Hall. In 1982 this church was given to St. Lawrence Roman-Catholic parish. In the following three years the parish priest Jerzy Stellman refurbished the church, adapting it to the liturgy of the Roman-Catholic Church. The church (presently Corpus Christi Church) was built in 1825–1826 according to the project of Ernest Samuel Friebl. There is not much information left about the church organ from the times when it was built. At best, it was an instrument of dubious quality. This fact and the later history of the organ is described in the archive documents in the National Archives Office in Opole. The first document from that set is from 13th November 1925, the last archive document is a correspondence dated in July 1929 and it mentions obtaining 2000 RM in order to refund works undertaken on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the church. The current presentation of the history of the non-existent organ from the evangelical church in Strzelce Opolskie obviously does not exhaust the whole topic. It does not resolve the doubts who was the author of the instrument and it does not provide other important data from its history. It only describes a few years in the second half of the 20th century when the 100th anniversary of the church and evangelical community took place. There is no doubt that the instrument in its dubious state survived till the Second World War. After the end of the war the evangelical community became a diaspora that had to finally give up maintenance of their own church. The church and organ were deteriorating. After Catholics took over the church, the instrument was dismantled and only a few parts were left in the attic of the church. That is how its history ends. The part of that history presented in this work helps to complete data about activity of such organ companies as Sauer or Berschdorf. Especially, a lot of information is given to describe the organ master workshop of Gustav Heinze from Żary.
- Arch: Archiwum Państwowe w Opolu: Rejencja Opolska, t. I: Kościoły i szkoły – Königliche Regierung zu Oppeln, Abteilung für Kirchen- und Schulwesen – Akten betreffend Bauten der evang. Kirche, Pfarrei usf. zu Groß-Strehlitz, 1.11.1877–31.7.1935, Band 3 – Nr 346 [stronice częściowo numerowane].
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- Poźniak G. (2017). Katalog organów w kościołach ewangelickich Opolszczyzny. Opole: Redakcja Wydawnictw Wydziału Teologicznego Uniwersytetu Opolskiego.
- Poźniak G. (2018). Historia organów z kościoła pw. św. Jakuba Starszego w Debrzycy na Opolszczyźnie. „Studia Pastoralne” 14, 471–497.
- www: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kościół_Bożego_Ciała_w_Strzelcach_Opolskich, 7 I 2019.
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