Construction of the northern tower spire by helicopter, DONA NOBIS PACEM

On Friday, 9 September 2016, the finishing touches were made to the southern spire, which had remained incomplete since 2013 due to inclement weather: We successfully laid the highest stone of Soest – the finial – at the tip of the northern spire – by helicopter. This saved a great deal of time and was ultimately also cheaper than extending the scaffolding solely for this purpose or performing all measures necessary for the use of two mobile cranes. The process began at 6:00 p.m. inside the church with a prayer dedicated to the masons’ lodge, held with the motto “peace in our hearts and in the world”. Two days later, on Sunday 11 September 2016, more than a thousand visitors used the opportunity to climb to the top one the last time.

From the following day, we dismantled the scaffolding on the spire and fitted it immediately to the choir, whose 10 windows are now to be renovated by 2019 in a process that will take part parallel to the tower construction that will take over a year.

Following the devotion, the finial stone in the choir vault – as decorated and garlanded by women from the parish and presented under the keystone of the main choir vault – was carefully carried out for transportation.

The removal from the interior was accompanied by the music of the wind ensemble (“Glück Auf, der Steiger kommt...” and “Großer Gott...”). Photo by Peter Dahm.

Safely attached and taken to the skies above by the rope of the helicopter.

Hands-on for this matter: in May 2017 the Federal Foreign Minister chiselled a message of peace in the foundation stone of the great pinnacle of the northern steeple.

Flight of the stone to the scaffolded northern spire

The flight was followed by many people now in front of the church following the devotion, along with others from the city and the parapet; smartphones were out in force to record the moment.

The pilot lowered down the stone of the highest spire; the finial is taken from the swathed hanging garland and mounted – plugged, as it were, into place.

The spire stands tall: Patroklus-Provost, Parish Priest, President of the State Parliament, state and regional government officials, cathedral master builder, mayor, forming a horseshoe shape and looking to the east, wishing good luck and giving their blessing!

Early in the morning of 12 September, 2016, the lightning protection was completed. The finial of the northern spire now stands in place, directly above the scaffolding, ready for the final act: the lead glazing of the doweling.

Below documents laid out with the signatures of all visitors up here on 11 September. The document to the far left is a token of catholic provost’s church community at St. Patrolki with a text by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. To the left is the faxed dedication of the building director of Dresden’s Frauenkirche on the song sheet ”Dona Nobis Pacem”, which our friends from Dresden sang in 2002 in Osnabrück with other colleagues and the master builder of the Soest cathedral.

For whatever reason, in the preparation for this act of completing our northern spire, this past event was repeatedly recalled.

Dedication to peace

A historical message in a bottle. The documents were rolled up here in heat-resistant tube, placed into the sloped sprue which meets the stone at the tip of the historic copper spike and in turn comes out of the finial from below in a vertical channel.

The molten lead provides force-fitted durability.