I used to own an album of music recorded on a historic organ in the Church of St. Thomas in the little village of Covarrubias in the province of Burgos in northern Spain.
Here is an amateur video that captures some of the delightfully "crunchy" sound of this organ--particularly the trumpet stops:
I can't find much on the web, but as I vaguely recall from the liner notes, the organ dates from the 16th century.
The history of the organ goes back much farther than that. Under the name hydraulis or water organ, because it used water pressure to create air pressure to drive the pipes, it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Here are the remains of one of those ancient organs dating from the 1st century BC and discovered near Mt. Olympus in Greece:
Scholars have reconstructed a couple of ancient organs, but that's pretty much where it stops as there is no extant music for them surviving. The modern pipe organ design dates from the 14th century. This instrument, in Milan, was begun in 1395, but has been renovated continuously since then. The external decoration dates from the 16th century:
Perhaps the golden age of the organ was the Baroque when extremely fine instruments were built for every church, especially in the German-speaking countries. Bach received his biggest fees as a musician for services in testing and evaluating new organs, which could take several days. Here is an example of a north German Baroque instrument:
And some music by Bach that would have been played on it:
He may have actually written that piece as a test of the qualities of an organ.
Organ design has continued to develop and in the 19th century French builders made considerable contributions. This tradition continues to this very day with the Casavant Frères from St. Hyacinthe, just east of Montréal in Québec, Canada. Just the other day their new organ, built for the Montréal Symphony's new concert hall, the Maison symphonique, was inaugurated in a concert. The Wall Street Journal did an extensive review here. The instrument weighs 25 tons and cost $4 million. The concert included the Symphony No. 3 "avec orgue" by Saint-Saëns. Here is the last movement: