Bern cathedral set to lose tower scaffolding

Malcolm Curtis
Malcolm Curtis - [email protected]
Bern cathedral set to lose tower scaffolding
Bern's protestant cathedral, shown here with scaffolding, towers over the Old Town. Photo: Berner Münster-Stiftung

For more than half a century scaffolding has cloaked Switzerland’s tallest cathedral, but in a few weeks most of it will be pulled down as restoration work on the exterior of Bern’s Münster nears an end.


Work began on building the Swiss Reformed (protestant) cathedral back in 1421, although the 100.6-metre high tower of the Gothic structure was only finished in 1893.

But the tower and the spire had to be renovated due to damage to stones and the need to replace tiles.

Officials said the main work is now finished and most of the scaffolding can come down, officials told a press conference in Bern on Thursday.

But, now specialists will start on restoring the vaulted ceiling of the 500-year-old choir, a two-million-franc project to take two years.

As part of the project, 87 sculptures mostly depicting saints will be cleaned along with paintings, the Bern cathedral foundation said.

The final pieces of scaffolding will be removed from the outside of the church in 2017 — for the first time since 1950 and for a period expected to last 25 years — when further renovation is expected.


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