The cross with the cross chapel

The cross with the cross chapel

The construction site is visible from afar, the scaffolding has been standing for about two months. The cross chapel in sthashausen must be renovated. The roof is leaking. The members of the parish council made themselves a picture of the damage these days.

Architect georg boswald-von brunn is satisfied with the progress of the work – even if there have been some delays due to corona. A large part of the damage to the windows has already been repaired; in the future, the condensation running off inside will be drained off via a "condensation gutter" that is invisible from the outside. Several streaks had formed on the natural sandstones.

Astonishing results from the examination of the electrical lines. "Many of the pipes were laid on the building in the 1950s," explains the architect, pointing to a pipe that stretches up the masonry toward the roof of the church. He does not see a reason for this. It makes more sense to accommodate all the pipes in an existing pipe slot in the church building. He still wants to obtain a corresponding offer. There is also a line that runs across the chapel and leaves the site on the other side. "Their function is a complete mystery to us," von brunn confesses.

But the biggest problem is further up the hill. Some of the damage to the roof is immense. No wonder: plain tiles and slate bricks meet at the water-bearing valleys. Rainwater was able to penetrate the interior of the roof, attacking the wooden structure. "It was high time that we took action," von brunn asserts.

About half of the roof is already exposed. During a tour, the parish councils were able to inspect the damage from close up. Broken slate stones, small gaps between the covers, even the crest on the front is in an unsightly condition. "This is the weather side," explains the architect. After 40 to 50 years, such damage can occur, especially since reed sandstone is very soft, soaks up rain and then releases the moisture later.

Until recently, red plain tiles and black slate bricks dominated the image of the cross chapel. In the future, only natural slate stones are to be applied. "The slate comes from spain," von brunn explains. Production there has stalled for corona-related reasons, but the promised delivery date for the end of august can now be met after all. Because of the wood damage on the roof truss, the roofing can be started only in the middle of september. "The repair work took longer than expected," admits the architect.

The new roof will last 80 to 100 years – if all goes well. "Slate is a natural material," the architect from rottendorf asked for understanding. Depending on weather conditions, damage may occur earlier. In the future, an air exchange system in the roof space under the dome will provide protection for the wooden structure. "So we can get the humidity out of there"."The workers are putting up the new wooden structure so that the air can circulate under the roof. For the swifts, which were observed on the facade, there should be nesting possibilities in the area of the eaves also in the future. "Although they don’t make any dirt anyway," explains von brunn, lifting the tarpaulin on one side of the roof. Construction debris and remnants of slate tiles have also accumulated from past times. "This attracts vermin," he says. "Everything comes out."

The work is expected to cost around 1.175 million euros. To be completed by the end of the year.

The cross chapel in sthashausen was built between 1741 and 1745 according to plans by balthasar neumann. It is one of the most important buildings in franconia. Its outline once adorned every 50 D-mark bill in germany.

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