Fascination turned into a profession

Fascination turned into a profession

Cathedral architect Hedwig Drabik © Uwe Anspach

For the first time, the Speyr Imperial Cathedral World Heritage Site has a cathedral architect. Hedwig Drabik, 32, was introduced Monday as the architect and coordinator for all construction work on the world's largest Romanesque church.

The youngest German cathedral architect is also responsible for networking institutions such as the Cathedral Builders' Association and the European Foundation Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, as well as for Unesco monitoring of World Heritage sites and their surroundings. 20 applications had been received for the position, 17 men and 3 women. In 1999, Barbara Schock-Werner was the first woman to become cathedral master builder in Cologne.

Career of the cathedral's master builder

Drabik was born in 1986 in Mikolow (Nikolai), Poland, and came to Germany as a child. After school, she studied architecture in Kassel and monument preservation in Bamberg. She then worked for an architectural firm specializing in old buildings and natural stone work.

Drabik said monumentality, spatial impression and atmosphere of church interiors had fascinated her for a long time. Her favorite places in the cathedral are the crypt, because it radiates a lot of peace, and the viewing platform on the southwest tower. Currently, the new cathedral architect has to take care of two major construction projects: the repair of the crossing tower and the restoration of the narthex.

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