After 50 years, Cuenca’s cathedral domes get repairs, a clean-up and a new color

Nov 16, 2017 | 7 comments

It’s been a half-century since the iconic domes on Cuenca’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral have been repaired and painted. That was when tiles and marble slabs from Czechoslovakia were installed on the domes and towers, says rector César Santacruz.

Scaffolding surround one of the cathedral domes. (El Mercuiro)

“Much of the installation from that job has deteriorated and was in need of major repairs,” says Santacruz. “Over the years, many of the titles have fallen off and some of the slabs have cracked so this project is long overdue. The sunlight, rain, hail storms and lightning strikes have taken a toll on the structures,” he adds.

In addition to repairs, new grout will be applied around the tiles and the domes will get a thorough cleaning, Santacruz says. Conservation work during the project includes repair and replacement of the lattices, window frames and glass in the towers that support the domes.

The most significant change in the project, he says, is that the dome towers will be repainted white, their original color, replacing the current bone-color. The color change follows discussions with architects and church historians, he said. “We are returning to the first color scheme of 115 years ago,” he said.

Santacruz said there was not a work schedule since much of the repair and restoration will occur as problems are discovered.

The project is being directed by the Cuenca Office of Historical and Patrimonial Areas in coordination with the Archdiocesan Curia.

For more on the dome project, click here.

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