The earthquake of March 22 knocked off the top of Zagreb Cathedral's southern tower. The northern tower was also badly damaged. Due to danger that it, too, could collapse, it had to be shortened. So, yesterday around 6pm, part of the northern tower was removed, bringing balance back to the cathedral's monumental silhouette.
Before March 22, the Zagreb Cathedral towered at 108 metres high. Each of its towers alone was over 13 metres tall, with the northern tower at a four-centimetre advantage.
Yesterday's removal was carried out by the Croatian military, construction workers and engineers, who set off a series of controlled detonations on the 30-ton tower. Their equipment included two 500-ton cranes, 580 grams of explosives and live-video drones. It took under 30 minutes to detonate the tower and bring it to the ground.
Coincidentally, yesterday happened to be the birthday of Hermann Bollé, the towers' very own designer. The architect of German descent reconstructed the formerly Baroque cathedral after the devastating earthquake in 1880. His new design was Gothic, and gave the cathedral its former height of 108 metres. Bollé passed away in Zagreb on April 17, 1926, and is buried in the city's Mirogoj cemetary, the arcades of which he also designed.
Bollé's vision of the cathedral has now, again, changed.