23 September 2023, by Emily Proctor

After what may have felt like a million years, the scaffolding atop the Domtoren in Utrecht is slowly going to be removed ahead of its full unveiling in autumn 2024. “My children have never seen him [the tower] ‘without a jacket’,” councillor Dennis de Vries told RTV Utrecht.

Scaffolding to be dismantled in step-by-step

The scaffolding that surrounds the 700-year-old church tower will be removed in stages as part of a step-by-step process. The tower has been covered with scaffolding since 2018, but by the end of 2023, it is expected that the top 40 metres of the 112-metre structure will be visible once again.

The first scaffolding pipe was removed on September 20, and many residents of the city are looking forward to being able to see at least part of the tower again soon. “I often hear from people that they feel at home again when they see the cathedral,” councillor De Vries told RTV Utrecht. “Soon this will be possible again without scaffolding. The end is in sight and that is a great moment.”

Tourists have been put off visiting because of the scaffolding

The construction work has not just been an eyesore for locals, but has also been a problem for the city’s tourism figures as well. In 2018, the last year before scaffolding was erected around the Domtoren, approximately 90.000 people climbed the tower. In 2023, the number is expected to be approximately half that figure.

“The moment there is scaffolding around something, people think it is closed. We notice that very much,” Cor Jansen of Utrecht Marketing, the company which operates the Domtoren, told RTV Utrecht.

Thumb image credit: minhanphotos / Shutterstock.com

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