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Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering cooperates with Croatian Army on Zagreb Cathedral's north tower removal project

University of Zagreb Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering was involved in projecting the mining process for the demanding removal project of Zagreb Cathedral's northern tower, damaged by the earthquake. Answering the call of the Zagreb Archbishopric's Committee for Reconstruction of the Cathedral - or rather the call of Mons. Ivan Hren, curator canon, and Mr Damir Foretić, supervising cathedral restoration engineer - employees of the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering's Department of Mining Engineering and Geotechnics, Assoc. Prof. Mario Dobrilović, PhD Sc. ing. and Ass. Prof. Vječislav Bohanek, PhD Sc. ing. devised a procedure that uses small, precisely positioned explosive charges to separate the tower's connecting lead wedges from its damaged load-bearing cornice.

The project also called for the steel rope of the tower's spherical weight. The procedure was executed between the 73rd and 74th row of the stone building elements, at a height of 92 meters. The Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering professors worked closely with the Croatian Army, specifically the Croatian Ground Army Engineer Regiment, whose members Lieutenant Colonel Car, Staff Sergeant Marjanović and Sergeant Vulaković conducted the mining on 17th April 2020. The projected solutions were confirmed with test minings beforehand, with the final confirmation being the mining itself, moments before the tower was lifted with a crane.

Zagreb Cathedral, beside being the tallest structure in Croatia, is much more than a building. It is a religious, cultural, spiritual, and architectural heritage of Croatia. This joint engineering endeavour by a team of experts and workers cooperating with University of Zagreb professors and members of the Croatian Army enabled us, with God's help, to preserve this monument for future generations.

Photo: MORH/Filip Klen