The bells are silent

Munster Cathedral will be closed for more than a year at the beginning of November. Cathedral bells also silent. The mass on All Souls' Day, followed by the blessing of the graves, will probably be the last service in the cathedral until Advent 2012.-St. Paul's Cathedral will be, the diocese announced on Monday. The reason is the interior renovation of the cathedral.

As the diocese further announced, the cathedral chamber already closes on 4. October, as preparations begin for the major exhibition "Golden Splendor – Medieval Treasure Art in Westphalia," which will be on display from 26. February can be seen. As a substitute for St. Paul's Cathedral, the neighboring Old Town Church of Liebfrauen uberwasser is ready to take over. All cathedral services take place here, including the festive pontifical liturgies, for example at Christmas and Easter.

Renovation work has been underway for several months. Already, almost the entire roof area of the dome has been covered by about 5.500 square meters renewed. The stonemasonry work on the Salvator gable on the southern east transept has also been completed, according to the diocese. Parts of the scaffolding remain in place because protective glazing for the large tracery window is now being installed on the inside; for this purpose, the cathedral organ, installed in 1987, must be specially protected by a wooden casing.

New bell tower
A new heating and ventilation system has also been installed: A "geothermal system" heats St. Paul's Cathedral using geothermal energy. According to the cathedral's master builder, Georg Wendel, this will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 56 tons a year; in heating costs, 13.Save 000 euros.

During the interior renovation, the complete electrical installation including lighting will be renewed. The eleven cathedral bells, weighing 17 tons, remain silent for a year until the rusted steel belfry is replaced by a new wooden one. The updated fire protection concept includes improved lightning protection and the installation of a dry riser, through which large quantities of extinguishing water can be transported to the area of the main roof and bell tower in the event of a fire. The cathedral sacristy, which in the words of Cathedral Provost Josef Alfers is "in an archaic state," is undergoing a general renovation. The entire 109-meter interior is being painted; the pews are also being overhauled.

The present (third) cathedral of Munster was consecrated in 1264. In the Second World War, it suffered the most severe destruction. In 1956 the cathedral could be consecrated again. Renovation and restoration measures took place in 1985, 2001/02 and from 2010 onwards.

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