Twelve meters above the nave of the church, the wooden boards creak as the specialist group of the state building authority invites the press to a meeting. Since the beginning of the year, the dombauhutte has been busy renovating the imperial cathedral and checking its safety on behalf of the state of bavaria.
"It’s a challenging project because we have to work while the plant is in operation", explains ulrich forst. A compromise to not completely deny people access. The head of the cathedral building department is in charge of various sections in the venerable house of god. That means cleaning the ceilings, gouging cracks and cleaning window ledges.
The bamberger rider is still well secured behind wooden boarding. The area around the organ and the imperial degree is almost finished, so that the steel scaffolding can move on: by easter the altar island will be surrounded. In order to begin the next phase of construction, visitors must remain outside for a week. From next monday, 16. Marz, on until saturday afternoon only the craftsmen are at work in the dome.
The renovation work has been going well so far. "Only the room temperature has slowed down the pace somewhat", explains jurgen konig, head of the state building office in bamberg. By moving the m takings to times when visitors are scarce, he said, they want to minimize the impact on visitors.
In two shifts, the skilled workers are renewing the lime plaster on the ceiling, where the color gradients also present a certain challenge: "there’s always a bit of life in it. Depending on the weather, the paint can dry accordingly, resulting in a slightly different image", explains konig. Every 40 to 50 years, a dome like this has to go through the tuv, so to speak. Two million euros have been invested in the acceptance tests, which are being managed and financed by the building authority. With the dombauhutte as a "storehouse of knowledge with 100 years of experience" you have a good partner on your side, finds the head of the building department. Since the last renovation in the 70’s, the electrical system has also accumulated a few years. Distribution box, fuses and lines to be upgraded.
New lighting technology
Something is also happening in terms of environmental protection: old 1,000-watt lamps are giving way to modern technology. The church building is illuminated by around 200 new LED spotlights that can work with different color tones. But don’t worry: despite everything, the dome will not become a disco. "The work in the west choir will be a little more laborious because there will be more decorations", forst describes the situation.
Most of the benches will be available much earlier. By christmas, however, there will only be a small fixture there. The work is expected to be completed in the course of 2021, konig estimates.