Bordeaux Cathedral Assessment and Safety

Creating New Safety Measures for the Bordeaux Cathedral

Project of Antea Group France

Cracks in the upper structure of the nave of Bordeaux Cathedral have led to pieces breaking away and falling to the ground. Built in 1096, the cathedral is a UNES CO World Heritage Site. Given this fact and the risk posed to members of the public, France’s historic monuments agency commissioned Antea Group to assess the integrity of the vault and to determine how to make the building safe.


Antea Group carried out a survey to determine what urgent work was needed to render the structure safe and designed and deployed a system of 10 crack monitors and 3 temperature sensors.


The new instruments will monitor changes in the cracks in the cathedral vault over time. The crack monitors are linked to a remote, secure server via a logger over a mobile telephone network. This wireless system means that no cables are required, therefore preserving the cathedral’s appearance. Both the project team and our customer can view the measurements in real time through a secure web interface. Automatic alert thresholds have been built into the system, which sends text messages whenever the limits are exceeded.