THE famous door of the Alicante Cathedral is due to undergo restoration after being damaged by years of urine.
What is known as the Puerta Negra (Black Gate) of the cathedral has not been able to open properly for some time and has faced the risk of breaking away from its hinges due to the amount of people using it as a public toilet. Dating back to the 17th century, the gate located on Calle Miguel Soler is particularly vulnerable late at night and especially during the infamous bottle parties organised by young people in the city.
Alicante Cathedral authorities have been forced to repair the gate which is officially opened several times during the year for special events after it failed to close properly after the June Hogueras festival. Priests working in the building had to ask for help from visitors to help close the door which is 3.50m wide, 6m high and each side of the double-door weighs 2,000 kilos.
As explained the dean of the cathedral, Ramón Egío: “The wood has been corroded by urine and our fear was that it would fall down. There are a number of children that visit the area on a Friday night and we feared for their safety if it collapsed without warning.”
Building engineer Fernando Diaz explained that although weather conditions influence the state of the door over a number of years, the urine in the corners has caused the major problem to the metal parts of the structure and the metal eventually oxidises.”