Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption’s Organ

The Collegiate Church ND de l’Assomption is located in the medieval village and overlooks Cotta alley.
The organ is at the back of the nave, on a large platform overlooking the main entrance.

Typology Furniture

Period Nineteenth

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The collection of historical documents and the production of the technical data sheets of the reference work published in 2003 are the work of organist Silvano Rodi.

The Lombard organs (or Piedmontese in Fontan) found in the five churches of the Roya Valley, were built or restored for these churches in the nineteenth century. Fontan’s and Breil’s, eighteenth century organs, are more or less reconditioned reuses. The ensemble is a rich movable and artistic heritage. They were restored during the 1970s – 1980s under the leadership of organists Sant and Saorgin. Along with the other organs of the Savoyard Royal Route, the Bevera and the Vermenagna, they host an international organ festival every summer.

In 1805, the Fabrique Council of Tende church decided to replace the former organ destroyed during the French revolutionary occupation.

The Serassi of Bergamo, prestigious organ makers of the time, were contacted by the factory, and a contract was signed in 1805. The payment was spread until 1809. The grandstand and the case were enlarged to accommodate the new organ. The buffet is from the former organ, still dated 1673, which was reworked in 1807 to accommodate the Serassi organ.

Supported by two fluted columns, the cornice is dominated by a broken pediment decor framed by angels, in the Baroque tradition of altarpieces of churches in the valley. The arch of the opening, where the pipes are located, was endowed with a wooden theater curtain cut and painted in the nineteenth century.

The panels of the railing of the tribune are decorated with geometric carved and painted decorations.

Conditions of visit

Pedestrian access through the alleys of the village of Tende. Parking near RD 6204 road, outside the historical village.

Access to the church is dependent on a sloping lane. Parking is possible on the outskirts of the historical village. The main entrance is through a wide staircase limiting access to valid people. The secondary entrance on one level, is generally closed, some vehicles can approach. Inquire at the tourist office for access to people with reduced mobility.

Daily opening to the public (9am-5pm, 6pm summer). Free access. Visiting conditions may be imposed during ceremonies and Sunday Mass.

The organ sideboard is visible from the nave. Several concerts a year, see tourist office.


Additional information


  • Saorgin René, Les orgues de nos vallées, Magazine « le Haut-Pays » n°1, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1984
  • Bernard Michèle, Les orgues de la vallée : Tende et Fontan, Magazine « le Haut-Pays » n°2, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya,1984.
  • Bernard Michèle, L’orgue de la Brigue, Magazine « le Haut-Pays » n°5, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1985.
  • Rodi Silvano, Saorgin René, Orgues historiques des vallées de la Roya et de la Bevera, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2003.