Travel Guide Strasbourg France

We visited Strasbourg! We left the Offenburg station in Germany and took a local train, which was more like a tram than a train. After a journey of only 25 minutes we arrived at the train station in Strasbourg. Then the journey began. First day After leaving the luggage at the hotel we went on foot to the area called Pettite France. This is a charming area, full of canals and flowers. You can see an old fortified river port …

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Treadwheel Crane of Mont Saint Michel Cathedral

Treadmill Crane of Mont Saint Michel Cathedral – France The original abbey church was built between 1030 and 1230 and several buildings were built. They were convent rooms, Host room, refectory, knights room and cloister. History of Mont Saint Michel During the Hundred Years War, Mont Saint Michel was the subject of siege and bloody battles between French and English. The last Benedictines left Mount St-Michel in 1791. The abbey became a prison in 1793 to imprison more than 300 …

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Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral

Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral - England

Treadwheel on Salisbury Cathedral is from the 13th century (1220-1320.) And has the tallest tower in the UK, 123 meters (404 feet). The wheel crane is the original one used in construction. The same as the existing scaffolding on the spire tower. As the tower approached completion, the removal of the wheel crane was considered. This was quite common, as the crane can be dismantled and reused on another site. It also adds weight to the structure. But it turns out that because the crane was leaning, so much wooden shoring was added to it that it prevented its total removal. It was also partially dismantled and in its original location under the roof.

Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral
Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral

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TreadWheel Crane Details

In the 18th century lightning damaged the tower, so the wheel crane is reassembled for repair work. So it remained until today. They say the crane is empty (no rope or load) so well balanced that it can be moved with just one finger. The axis, in the 18th century was reinforced (8), adding four additional minor axes. Planks were placed on the inside circumference of the Wheel, providing a surface for the crane operators.

 

The 3.3 meter (10 feet 10.5 inch) diameter of the wheel makes walking inside the wheel hoist torture for the operator. Even for a person of short stature. You had to walk in a stooped position, the only way to operate the crane. According to the Cathedral staff, although it is not used, the wheel crane is in operating condition

Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral
Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral

 

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Curiosities of the CathedralThe cathedral remains undamaged to this day. And it is because it was one of the few cathedrals, in the south of England, not to be attacked by the Luftwaffe. This was during the Battle of Britain in WWII. As the story goes, the residents of Salisburys during the war were astonished because in the areas adjacent to the cathedral, far fewer bombs fell than in the rest of the city.

 

They were probably convinced that the cathedral should protect them. It turns out that, after the war, a Luftwaffe officer reported that all pilots received strict instructions never to bombard the cathedral, as its spire was so tall and unique that it served as a perfect landmark for the aircraft they sought. orientation. The cathedral also has the oldest and best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta. This document apparently can be seen but not photographed.

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Medieval Treadwheel Crane in Strasbourg’s Cathedral

Medieval Treadwheel Crane in Cathedral of Strasbourg

We visited the Cathedral of Strasbourg 

The Cathedral of Strasbourg was the first cathedral of Germany (or Kingdom of Germania). Until the arrival of Louis XIV in 1681 and his minister of the war, the Marquess of Louvois that camped in the environs of Strasbourg and forced their submission to the French monarchy the 30 of September of 1681.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

The Cathedral was delivered by the same Luis XIV The head of the Catholic bishopric of Strasbourg, Egon de Furstenberg. Absent from the city for almost 150 years, that way ended the period as an independent city.

The Cathedral

Designed in Gothic style, it was built during the second half of the 13th century. Although originally planned as a Romanesque structure, in 1053 today there is only the crypt and the floor of that style. At the end of the main chapel, the decision was taken to construct the nave in the Gothic style (1250).

The walls were open with Gothic stained glass but the interior remained predominantly Romanesque. The main colonnades were Romanic style. And they also supported the arches. They were very separate. The proportions of the ship are 1: 2.5.

Cathedral of Strasbourg
Cathedral of Strasbourg

 

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Medieval Treadwheel Crane - Cathedral Strasbourg 

It is accessed by the side of the Cathedral, to a door that leads to a spiral staircase stone, without breaks. At the end of it before accessing the terrace on the left side you can see the Medieval Treadwheel Crane.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

The same one that was used in the construction of the Cathedral. And it's still there. It was customary to leave the cranes in their original location after completion of the work, for maintenance or repair.

Medieval Treadwheel Crane Carpenters

The Medieval treadwheel crane Cathedral of Strasbourg is made of wood, manufactured by the carpenters. Like carvers, carpenters were a relatively privileged category of craftsmen. Considered for a long time the absolute masters of construction, its prestige began to decline as early as the 11th century with the generalization of stone vaults, which concealed from view its wooden structures.

Related post: Religious Tourism in the Middle Ages

Since then, both guilds have fought, sometimes with violence, the primacy in the construction works. But they had to remain closely linked because they had no choice but to depend on one another.

The Carpenters Masters

The master carpenter directed all the works in wood, that were developed from the beginning to the end of the work. He was a very skilled technician, who could discuss with the architect the timber structures to be lifted, both permanent and temporary.

The rigging, ladders and scaffolding that would be used by masons, sculptors and glaziers to work at different heights, inside and outside the building were all made of wood.

AstronomicClock of Cathedral of Strasbourg
AstronomicClock of Medieval Cathedral of Strasbourg

They also built support machinery to lift stones and other materials. Wheel cranes, also called spinning "squirrels" and three-up raisers, are inside these machines.

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The Navy Carpenters of The Crane

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg
Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg

The treadwheel crane was a piece that required a great technical skill. Perfect assemblies and combinations of forces show their relationship with naval carpentry. In regions with a strong maritime tradition, carpentry teachers shared the construction of cathedrals with work in the shipyards building ships. Both civilian and military.

The main application was the port cranes. Imitations can now be observed in different parts of Europe.

CONCLUSIONS

As can be seen in the photos this treadwheel crane is for two operators. While the word operators today is used to operate a mechanical crane, here is another thing. Two people, one on each side walk in synchronized form to lift a weight, to the control of a master of crane.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

We have no idea of ​​the capacity of this particular crane, but it can be said that approximately would be for about 1500 to 3000 lb, taking into account the external diameter of the wheel. This would be about  4.5 yards. For those who visit the cathedral of Strasbourg, before accessing the terrace, you can appreciate this legacy artifact of other times.