21:46 / 16.04.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Zagreb Cathedral could reopen by next summer

The Zagreb Cathedral

The Zagreb Cathedral

Foto: Patrik Macek / PIXSELL

The Zagreb Cathedral is still under reconstruction to fix the damage caused by two powerful earthquakes in 2020 but experts hope the building could reopen its doors in 2023.

More than one hundred experts worked on a study documenting the state of the building and what needs to be done to ensure it is safe, while at the same time retaining its original architectural character. One of the civil engineers who worked on the document, Prof. Josip Atalić, from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb, says this is one the greatest professional challenges he has ever taken on.

“We worked very diligently, bringing together the best engineering schools and companies, to carry out the initial assessment and make sure that no mistakes are made. A lot of worshipers gather in this building and their safety must be guaranteed,” said Prof. Atalić.

Experts have tested the structure of the stone the cathedral is made of, the ground below, the building’s arches, and the structure’s response to vibrations. The results of these tests will be used to draft plans for individual sections of the cathedral. The most urgent repairs are expected to cost some 200 million kuna and Prof. Atalić says if they are completed in time, the building could reopen by next summer.

“The Cathedral must retain its original look. It must remain recognizable and the way Herman Bolle envisaged,” says Prof. Atalić.

Architect Herman Bolle took inspiration for the Zagreb Cathedral from the cathedral in Cologne, Germany, says Msgr. Zlatko Koren, the president of the committee overseeing the reconstruction of the Zagreb Cathedral. Experts believe that even if the Cathedral does reopen in 2023, full reconstruction will take many more years.

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