Century old dials removed from Utrecht's Domtoren for restoration
The four dials on the Domtoren in Utrecht, which date from 1915, were removed on Monday morning. They will be restored in the coming period. "It is a memorable moment that the tower can be viewed without dials", tower manager Jaap van Engelenburg said to NU.nl. "I said jokingly: It is as if someone who has been wearing a beard for ten years suddenly shaves it off. The Domtoren suddenly has a bare face."
A 77 meter high crane was erected on Domplein from 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The four dials on the tower were removed in pairs, first the dials on the north and west side, and then the other two dials.
The removal of the dials form part of the tower's restoration, which started in November. More than 37.2 million euros has been allocated to the restoration, which is expected to take years. In addition to the dials, the tower's balustrades, joining and woodwork, the slate roof of the tower spire, and the natural stone and brick work on the inside and outside of the tower, will all be restored or replaced. Once this is done, the Utrecht tower will not have to be serviced for 50 years. The Domtoren was last restored in 1975.
According to Van Egelenburg, every part of the restoration is preceded by a massive process. "There are several people at the table. A restoration architect, people from the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency, our own heritage specialists, and people who are researching certain stones and the replacement of stones", the manager said. "We weigh the pros and cons, and every now and then we all disagree."
The restoration of the Domtoren is expected to be completed in five years, somewhere around 2023.
Vanaf een 77 meter hoge kraan worden de wijzers en wijzerplaten van de Utrechtse Domtoren verwijderd. Dat is nodig om ze te restaureren en om ruimte te maken voor een steiger. Foto: @Lonki78 / ANP https://t.co/jnwvBFLDrZ pic.twitter.com/zdJQnACj2b— ANP Foto (@anpfoto) April 29, 2019