Ancient German church rolls off on wheels

23rd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 October 2007, Heuersdorf, Germany (dpa) - A 750-year-old German church was hoisted entire onto a large transporter ahead of a journey to its new home 12 kilometres away across two rivers and two railway lines. The Emmaus Church in the almost abandoned village of Heuersdorf is to be removed to Borna, a town of 22,000 inhabitants in the eastern state of Saxony, to make way for a lignite open cast mine. "By lifting the building and successfully lowering it, the first critical point in the transport has bee

23 October 2007

Heuersdorf, Germany (dpa) - A 750-year-old German church was hoisted entire onto a large transporter ahead of a journey to its new home 12 kilometres away across two rivers and two railway lines.

The Emmaus Church in the almost abandoned village of Heuersdorf is to be removed to Borna, a town of 22,000 inhabitants in the eastern state of Saxony, to make way for a lignite open cast mine.

"By lifting the building and successfully lowering it, the first critical point in the transport has been completed," Uwe Wenzel, the manager in charge of the operation, said.

The operation to lift the church weighing close to 1,000 tons took up most of Tuesday.

The first part of its journey led just 50 metres away to a parking place for the night.

The main journey begins on Thursday and is expected to end in Borna on October 31, the day marking Halloween and the date Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door.

Ahead of the move, a steel construction was erected under the church before a hydraulic lift raised it 1.6 metres for the transporter to drive in underneath.

The cost of the operation, being paid for by mining company Mibrag, is estimated at 3 million euros (4 million dollars).

Some of the steel supports will have to be removed for the final stage at the market square in Borna, where there is a clearance of just two centimetres on each side.

The route takes the ancient church over the rivers Wyhra and Pleisse and two railway crossings.

Mibrag secured the rights to strip mine in Heuersdorf only after a 10-year battle through the courts. Around 80 per cent of the village's 320 inhabitants have been moved.

Lignite mining and using the low-quality "brown coal" to fire power stations has become increasingly controversial in the light of concerns over the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on climate change.

DPA

Subject: German news

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