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The abbey church has been comprehensively renovated and restored

If you click on the pictures they are shown enlarged.

 

 

     The 13th of November 2015 was a special day for our parish, a day that you only experience once in centuries. Since 2009 work had been carried out on our church. Initially only the late Romanesque external painting which was flaking off in parts was to be restored. Fortunately for us the building authority had scaffolding put up just to do the preliminary examinations so that all parts of the painting could be seen clearly. As a result of this it became clear with the mason’s level that the north wall was leaning forward and also the gable of the west façade.  Then the roof area was examined and the experts realised that some of the beams that were supposed to hold the walls up were rotten and worm ridden Some of the beams had even been cut through in 1880 when room was being made for the new vault.  The state building authority, representatives of the finance ministry and state authority for the protection of memorials helped out by way of achieving state patronage. It took 2-3 weeks just to examine all of the beams. The result was that the whole roof had to be renovated and a plan was made. Some of the beams were replaced with new ones; the historical ones were kept wherever possible. The slating was completely renewed. Wall anchors were put in to stop the outside walls from drifting apart and as such to secure the building. A small but important contribution from the society for the preservation of the abbey was a new cross over the west vault.     The preparation for the work on the woodwork and the north wall resulted in very valuable knowledge of the history of the building. As the scaffolding made the whole roof accessible and visible, the damage on the roof of the church tower could be seen and repaired extensively. The tower roofing was redone.  From down below from the church square it could be seen that between some of the tuff stones on the triangle of the gable over the main entrance mortar was missing. The exact examination revealed that all of the stones would have to be taken off and put back in a bed of mortar.As the scaffolding covered the whole west facade and the north wall a lot of areas could be found on which the quarry stone was damaged. A lot of the stones were replaced, empty voids, some having been there from the start, had to be filled with fluid cement. Columns and bases were damaged to some extent, the columns being repaired the bases being replaced with new ones. In order to renovate the outside walls for some time to come the experts decided to plaster these as had been done in 1925 and to do this in a coloring as close to the original one as possible.      During the work on the north wall the experts realized that the windows need to be renewed. First of all all the windows in the arcades were taken out and completely renewed by a company in Trier. Both of the large gothic windows and the window down in a similar style next to the tower were also retraced and the glass work renewed (panes and lead casing). While the windows were being checked it was discovered that the wind grids dated back to the time when the church was built this being in the 13th Century. Because they are of great historical importance they were restored by a company in Jena. Now there were no further obstacles to the continuation of the work that was supposed to be done first: the painting of the outside. This has now been completed. Inside between the plastered and walls painted in a light colour they look very lovely and are – together with the colorful nave they are some of the church’s real treasures.      It should not be forgotten that during the work on the church tower the clock was given a new face. From close up it could be seen that damage was so extensive that the old face could not be repaired.    From the north wall a Madonna from the 18th century was taken down about forty years ago.  Since then it had been in the parish house it being too dangerous to keep it on the outside wall. The canopy and its pedestal commemorated the statue. Without a Madonna the newly restored North wall would have been incomplete. The society for the preservation of the abbey was able to purchase a porcelain Madonna from the church in Ehrenbreitstein. This was put in the place where the old Madonna had been before the scaffolding was taken down.      The small chapel at the cemetery next to the church tower occupied the councils of the parish for some time. An examination initiated by the society for the preservation of the abbey that was carried out 10 years ago showed that the chapel desperately needed extensive renovation work. The costs were so high that they were too much for the parish and the society for the preservation of the abbey and as such the work was continually postponed. Then it became clear that the chapel was under the patronage of Rhineland Palatinate. The finance ministry confirmed being responsible. In the meantime the chapel was taken down by a specialist firm and -using the old wood work- has been put up again with the quality of the craftsmanship being so high that visitors speaks of a jewel although the chapel has not been finished on the inside.

 

To celebrate the completion of the renovation of the outside of the abbey at the end of 2015 the society for the preservation of abbey donated a porcelain Madonna being put in on the North facade of the church on the pedestal for the porcelain Madonna from 1737, as displayed in the parish house. The “new” porcelain Madonna from the sixties, as crafted by the Degen Family from Höhr-Grenzhausen, was in Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein until November 2015.

 

 


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