Restoration of the East Choir facade of Naumburg Cathedral begins

In order to further preserve the substance of the shell limestone of Naumburg Cathedral, a repair of the facade of the East Choir is urgently required, because the damage is obvious and endangers the substance, explains the cathedral's master builder Regine Hartkopf: "The blackening of the limestone is due to the formation of gypsum crusts. These are mainly due to earlier negative environmental influences as a result of acid rain. They cause serious damage: the dense dark crusts heat up more than the light-coloured stone of the facade, which leads to different thermal expansion, the crusts bulge up and flake off. This is accompanied by a loss of substance of the limestone. The aim of facade repair should be to minimise further damage caused by crusts on the surface as far as possible, or, if possible, to exclude them.”

The restoration of the façade will be carried out in two phases until 2021, and the scaffolding for the work was recently erected. The actual restoration work will be carried out using beam and laser technology. First of all, a large sample area is created with a wet beam. Then the work continues on the entire facade. After the wet blasting, a worldwide unique laser is used, which "burns" the crusts.  

The project has a budget of 800,000 euros and is enabled by the federal government's structural aid.

At the same time the windows of the East Choir will be restored, the scaffolding is also planned for this, as the tracery of the windows will also be renewed.

Glass Restoration at Naumburg Cathedral: Project Work Secured until the end of 2020

Since December 2017, a team from the glass restoration workshop has been working closely with project manager Dr. Ivo Rauch and under the overall direction of the cathedral's master builder, Regine Hartkopf, on the magnificent West Choir windows of Naumburg Cathedral. Within the framework of the project "Glass Restoration at Naumburg Cathedral", they are to be restored and preventively secured by means of extensive measures.

With the updated subsidy decision of 11 October 2018, the measure is secured until the end of 2020. This means that the windows of the Naumburg East Choir can now also be included in the project.

Financing of the Project

Total costs: 2 million euros
Financing by:

  • Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM)
  • State of Saxony-Anhalt
  • Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung together with Sparkasse Burgenlandkreis
  • Rudolf-August Oetker-Stiftung
  • Ernst-von-Siemens-Kunststiftung with a patron

Duration of current work: 2017 to probably 2020

Current work

While the work on the windows in the West Choir is almost complete and it will soon be possible to see it again completely without restrictions, extensive work on the glass windows in the East Choir has begun from September 2019. In order to make the restoration work as efficient and safe as possible, all the windows of the East Choir were scaffolded at once. The work is scheduled to take one year. The sights of the East Choir will remain visible for the guest, because works of art such as the altar of the Virgin Mary and the unique deacon were given a new place in the cathedral for a transitional period.

During the restoration work in the west choir, among other things, the glass was cleaned in a dry state with a brush and scalpel, synthetic resins from earlier restorations were removed, the surrounding lettering was highlighted and the historical painting layer was strengthened. Small cracks in the glass were glued, lead fractures were secured and small areas were repaired. Finally, the glass fields were given a brass edging for stabilization.

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