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MALAGA

There are 220 steps up to the cathedral roof which will soon be open for public tours
15.07.14 - 12:06 -
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The stairway to Malaga's heavens
Architects Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero and Juan Manuel Sánchez La Chica on the roof of the cathedral. :: SUR
It’s an arduous climb up the cathedral’s staircases but the views from the oldest roof in the city make every step worth it. Thanks to a project set up by the diocese, the cathedral roof will soon be open for public tours.
Earlier this month, a privileged group of journalists were taken up onto the roof to experience what will undoubtedly be a popular tourist attraction.
Architects Gabriel Ruiz Cabrero and Juan Manuel Sánchez La Chica emphasised the care they took in creating a rooftop tour that was tourist-friendly and safe. They designed the structures to blend in with the existing renaissance-baroque architecture. Sánchez stressed that the project has “respected” the ancient architecture and explained that if the structures were to be removed, no traces of the project would be left.
The expansion has involved the use of wood, iron and stone to complement the existing building. Plastic was the only material suitable for the lighting but it is subtle: placed bellow the platforms light pollution is minimised and, furthermore, energy-saving bulbs have been used. The lighting will make it possible to visit the roof after dark.
The project has involved the construction of two large viewing platforms and a walkway around the perimeter of the cathedral roof which will give tourists a 360 degree view of the city.
Sánchez said that the two main challenges the architects faced were the design of the viewing platforms and the handrails and fencing around the walkways. However, the platforms certainly accomplish the architects’ aims in providing a large open space where visitors can relax and take their time to enjoy the spectacular views of the city.
Two long benches have been installed on the platforms, providing the public with a comfortable and safe place to sit down. For the fencing, architects used metals and elements similar to those used on boats in order to provide a strong but sleek structure. All materials used, bar the chicken wire, were sourced in Malaga.
Some of the stone structures in between the towers have also been rebuilt to replicate the originals and make the roof safe.
The cathedral roof tour will open to the public in the next few weeks once full permission has been given by the fire department and the Junta de Andalucía.

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