A dozen churches in the capital suffered significant damage in the 5.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the capital on March 22.
Among the buildings that were damaged is Zagreb’s landmark cathedral, which lost the tip of one of its towers in the quake. Most churches in the downtown area reported some damage and it is unclear when work to repair it will begin. When it does, experts say it could take many years to complete.
“Who will get the priority, which everybody wants, we’ll have to see. It is unclear if we have the strength, the human resources, the craftsmen, and experts to do it,” said father Vladimir Magdić of St. Mark’s parish.
Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić said city administraotrs would work tierlessly to bring the capital back to normal.
“Then we’ll have a marathon of five, six years to build it back up again,” Bandić said.
The bells on the landmark walls of the city’s Mirogoj Cemetery, designed by renowned architect Herman Bolle, have stopped ringing to ensure the cemetery’s collonades do not collapse.
“The bells won’t ring as long as the authorities believe they could threaten the stability of the structure of the domes, which we want to protect and preserve as much as possible,” said father Borna Puškarić of the Church of Christ the King.
The Zagreb Cathedral suffered extensive damage.
The south bell-tower cracked and its tip collapsed, parts falling into the yard and onto the Archbishop’s Pallace, which was also seriously damaged, said Stipe Tutiš, the head of the city’s office for the protection of historic and natural landmarks.
The Church of St. Mark and the Church of St. Katherine, both popular landmarks in Zagreb’s Upper Town, are both damaged, as is the Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration.
More than ten sacral buildings were damaged in the quake, and the damage, both to the buildings and the artwork inside, is incalculable and will take many years to repair.
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