The Benedictine abbey of Paix Notre-Dame, founded by the Benedictines of Namur in the first half of the 17th century, did not have a church until the second half of the century. This church has a façade of French inspiration that features two lines of pilasters and houses a remarkable organ made by the organ-maker, Jean-Baptiste Le Picard.
The organ occupies an unusual position in the abbey church. It dominates the monastic chancel reserved for the abbey community alone, opposite the nave, which can be accessed by all of the faithful. This position, which strengthens the essentially liturgical character of the instrument, is out of the view of the congregation, which proved an additional technical difficulty for Jean-Baptiste Le Picard (1706-1779), the son of a famous French organ-maker working in Liège. Built in 1736-37 in the style of Louis XIV, the instrument blends in harmoniously with the stalls and finely worked panelling in the chancel, adopting the classic design of three turrets and two face plates. The sculpted decoration is made up of a rich collection of scrolls, heads of cherubim, foliage, acanthus leaves and musical instruments, topped by four angels playing the trumpet. The sound quality of the instrument is equally remarkable and results from a technical design of the highest quality, revealed by a restoration programme in 1980. Removing the various alterations and changes to suit the taste of the day, the restoration returned the instrument to its original condition.
Exceptional heritage of Wallonia
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