3D models should capture earthquake damage Zagreb cathedral

The impressive Zagreb cathedral in better days, before the earthquake. Image: majaiva (Canva) CC0

In Croatia, experts use 3D models to help reconstruct the cathedral of Zagreb. The Zagrebačka katedrala suffered severe damage during an earthquake in March 2020. The models, made up of 10 billion scanning points, help analyse the building’s condition and develop the renovation project.

The Faculty of Geodesy from the University of Zagreb made the scans, reported Croatian newspaper Poslovni. Experts used photogrammetric methods to produce accurate 3D models of damaged buildings in Zagreb. You can view the first scan of the Sisak cathedral, near Zagreb, here. Experts already announced that other models will be released as well.


The gothic cathedral of Zagreb lost one of its spires during the earthquake. A month after the destruction, authorities partly removed the second spire, reported BalkanInsight at the time. In the video at the end of the article, you can watch how the second spire was removed with a controlled explosion.

But not all damage is visible from the outside. The devastating earthquake raised and lowered different regions in Croatia, according to Total Croatia News. These height shifts can potentially cause dangerous situations when it comes to a building’s foundations. 

That’s why the help of the university is important to restore the cathedral. They use state-of-the-art 3D laser scanners and drones to create accurate models of how the cathedral was affected by the earthquake. The dean of the faculty emphasised to Poslovni that these projects prove the importance of the entire academic community.

Source: BalkanInsight, Geodetski Fakultet, Poslovni (Croatian) and Total Croatia News

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