ORGANS OF PARIS 2.0 © Vincent Hildebrandt HOME A-C
On January 26, 1853, the Municipal Commission of
Paris vote a sum of 600 000 francs gold for the
acquisition of a diamond necklace intended for the
Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. But the
Empress refused the necklace, wishing that this
money would be used to create an establishment
of free education for poor girls. The architect
Hittorff gave the buildings the form of a necklace.
The inauguration was on December 28, 1856. The
buildings still house the work of the Empress.
The institution received the name of "House
Eugene Napoleon", in honor of the young Prince,
Louis-Eugène, born the year of the inauguration,
who was killed in southern Africa in 1879. At first,
the work was entrusted to the sisters of the charity
of Saint-Vincent de Paul, who educated and
equiped poor and orphan girls. In 1974, the
institution took the status of "Eugène Napoléon
Foundation". The sisters retired in 1976. The
Foundation continues today, with modern means,
the social educational work as desired by the
Empress Eugénie in 1853.
The organ was built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1857 and is
still in its original state, thus being a really
exceptional witness of the work of Cavaillé-Coll in
It was last heard in 1946 and has been neglected
since then. It is completely unplayable.