I'm Barbara in Germany (Mainz), and I'm interested in weather already for decades.
By: barbamz , 9:45 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
In my german town Mainz at Rhine River and very near the place where I live, some spectacular action happened in the last days. First section of my report see below. Here is an update, using a press release from today, which I edited and translated, moreover I recorded a video and some photos from todays action for you:
July, 18: Successful exchange of the cathedral’s spire cap in Mainz / Germany
With the successful elevation of the upper part of the new cap of the western spire of Mainz Cathedral, the crane works were completed in July 18. The crane company "Riga Mainz" brought the stone cap (4 tons) with the weathercock, the so-called “Domsgickel”, at 12:49h in its position in a hight of 83 meters, accompanied by loud applause from hundreds of spectators in the marketplace. The smoothly accomplished crane works were completed faster than expected, not the least due to the stable summer weather in Germany. Already on Wednesday, July 17, the lower and much more massive part of the new spire cap had been lifted upwards.
The newly gilded old weathercock is waiting for its elevation, but ...
first he had to give a press conference, boasting with pride:
Then he and his socle with the cross were fixed to the tools of the gigantic crane:
And lift off!
Destination of its travel is the western spire in the background:
And here he is again, where he has been for nearly 250 years already:
The whole picture - but where is the cock? Hardly to be seen at this hight from the ground:
Well, I can see the cock from where I live, and he'll show me the direction of the winds over Mainz.
This is what it feels to be on the top of the cathedral:
Replacement of cathedral’s spire in Mainz enters final phase
Special crane of the Riga company manages the spectacular lifting
(Todays press release from the diocese, translated by me with some help of google, and edited)
On Friday morning, 12th July, the upper half of the spire of the west tower has been raised from the 1000 years old cathedral of Mainz. The crane took about ten minutes to lift the old spire from 83 meters (272 ft) down to the market place.
On Thursday afternoon, 11th July, the shuttering (made by the company Doka), with which the tower top was brought down, was lifted on top of the 83 meters high tower with the help of a special crane by company of Riga. The 22-meter-long, 108-ton and nine axes crane was moved on Monday to the cathedral square on July, 8th. After three days of construction work, the 100 meter high crane was erected. The boom has a length of approximately 60 meters (196 ft). On Thursday morning the newly-built spire has been transported with the help of a low-loader to the market place in front of the Cathedral.
Substantial damage necessitating replacement
The replacement of the top of the west tower of Mainz Cathedral has become necessary as during the ongoing cathedral restoration since 2001 considerable damage was detected. The iron ring beam, which is attached to the top, was rusted, so that in many places the walls and the spire has become unstable. In recent months the stonemasons of the Mainz Cathedral have made a copy of the 7.5-meter-high (24 ft) and 20-ton spire, using sandstone from Miltenberg (photo here).
The present spire was designed in 1774 and has already been replaced for the first time in 1845.
With the special crane from Riga company the old spire, sawed into two parts, is lifted down from 83 meters. Next week the copy will be raised, also in two parts. Earlier they've thought about doing the replacement with the help of a helicopter but dismissed this idea because of fears, the massive stone burden may bounce around with the winds and damage the cathedral.
The total cost to replace the spire of the cathedral - including the re-gilding of the "Domsgickel", the weather-cock of Mainz Cathedral - amounts to around 500,000 Euros, financed for the most part by the Mainzer Dombauverein (Non profit association for the renovation of the cathedral).
Photo from the newly gilded weather cock (my own photo, taken earlier) which will return to the top of the spire soon. It's hollow and filled with historic documents.
Removing the first parts of the damaged old spire summit on July 12th
Source and photo gallery
Here is a three-days-timelapse from the installation of the gigantic crane July, 8 - 11th
View from below. A lot of citizens and tourists are following the action.
Promotion video of Mainz City from 2012
Wikipedia about Mainz
Wikipedia about Mainz Cathedral
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