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A temporary tourist attraction

From the Schlossmuseum, to the Holy Trinity Column, to Linz Zoo: there are a whole range of places to visit in Linz, a town situated in Upper Austria. Another tourist attraction was added to this list at the beginning of the year: the tower of the Mariendom Cathedral – or New Cathedral as it is also known – is currently being renovated and has been surrounded by an impressive scaffold erected by XERVON Austria. Right from the start, pedestrians have stopped to watch the work being carried out far above their heads. It has been well worth their while as the scaffold reaches all the way to the very top of the spire. And the height of this tower is truly impressive: 134.71 metres to be exact. This puts the Mariendom Cathedral in 2nd place on the list of the tallest churches in Austria and among the ‘Top Ten’ of the tallest sacred buildings in the world.

High above Linz

Scaffolds may well be a work aid but this does not make these intricate structures any less spectacular. And they are guaranteed to cause a sensation when they are built high above the ground. As was the case in Linz where XERVON Austria has erected a scaffold around the tower of the Mariendom Cathedral.

XERVON Austria performed all the scaffolding services itself – from the planning, sizing and structural analysis work, to logistics, all the way through to actually erecting the structure

Built in a Neo-Gothic style, the cathedral’s tower is decorated with numerous intricate elements. Restoration work now needs to be carried out – starting 66 metres above the ground and going all the way to the top – to repair the joints, replace the crumbling sandstone and restore the figures. Just under three months were needed to complete the scaffolding, with the project being performed in a number of different phases. The first stage involved the scaffold specialists erecting a supporting scaffold, which was there primarily for installing the lower passenger and goods lift. The main scaffold was then built around the tower stretching from 48 to 77 metres above the ground.

  • of scaffolding material were needed to complete this project

  • Heading upwards in three individual stages

    XERVON Austria used 150 tonnes of material to erect the scaffolding around the Mariendom Cathedral. Three individual stages were needed to complete this complex structure.

    Working scaffold

    Height of segment: 68 to 135 metres

    Amount of scaffolding material: around 70 tonnes

    This section provides the platform for the stonemasons, enabling them to carry out their work. It rests on the tower’s walkway 68 metres above the ground and is attached with supports to the granite roof at a height of 74 metres. The working scaffold has also been integrated into the main scaffold

    Main scaffold

    Height of segment: 48 to 77 metres

    Amount of scaffolding material: around 60 tonnes

    Positioned in place on the tower’s walkway, this main scaffold carries the load of the upper section and the second passenger and goods lift. A large banner displaying the names of the sponsors supporting the cathedral renovation project has also been attached to this scaffold. This main scaffold can also be used as a working scaffold as work progresses

    Supporting scaffold

    Height of segment: 0 to 77 metres

    Amount of scaffolding material: around 20 tonnes

    The supporting scaffold is primarily there to enable the lower passenger and goods lift to be installed. As it has been integrated into the main scaffold, it also provides access to the upper lift

The actual working scaffold for the stonemasons began at a height of 68 metres. It goes well beyond the spire’s stone balcony, ending at around 135 metres. A second lift has been installed to transport the people and the material to the cathedral’s spire. It is, however, unable to reach the very top. Which is why XERVON Austria has erected a series of steps and platforms that go even higher.

The structure will also be dismantled in a number of different stages, the timing of which will depend on how the renovation work progresses. Plans are for the scaffold to remain around the spire until October 2020 and the main scaffold until July 2021. People visiting the Domplatz square in Linz will, therefore, be able to admire this work of art for a number of months to come.

Playing it safe

No matter whether it involves erecting the scaffolding or carrying out the stonemasonry work: safety is paramount when such tasks are performed so high above the ground. Which is why XERVON Austria planned this project meticulously – paying detailed attention to technical, organisational and personal protection measures and ensuring they meet the highest standards. The team, which is always extremely safety conscious, performed their work wearing personal protective equipment that included a climbing helmet. Just as is the case with mountain climbers, the scaffolders, too, were secured with a safety harness. Their tools were also tethered to prevent them accidently falling to the ground.

Sections of the square in front of the cathedral have been cordoned off for the renovation work. The Bischof Rudigier Stiftung [Bishop Rudigier Foundation], which commissioned the project, has also had protective roofs erected above the entrances to the cathedral to make sure visitors are absolutely safe. Furthermore, wire screens have been attached to the outside of the scaffolding where the stonemasons are working so that, should a piece of stone break off, it is unable to fall onto the square below.

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