Stephansdom in Vienna (Austria) - St. Stephen's Cathedral
Location show on map
Date of build
Unknown. Finished before 1144
Stephansdom is the heart and soul of Vienna, like Fountain Square for Cincinnati, or Thames for London. It is the most recognizable object in the city, and the Stephansplatz square is the most visited place. This is where Mozart got married and where his funeral took place.
Stephansdom is dominant by its high tower, the Alt Steffl was built between 1359 and 1433. Each part is high on 136.4 meter tower (450 feet) and soaring gothic peak looks down at tourists looking up like in the sky.
The roof is covered with 230,000 tiles, over 50,000 of these tiles with strictly geometric shapes are covered with images of angels. Tiles also give the date when the cathedral was restored - 1831 - on the one hand, and 1950 - on the other hand.
The North Tower has never been completed. Officially, the money is over. But the legend says that the construction was stopped when its architect broke the pact with the devil and was thrown off the top believes.
Because of the narrow and closed streets and the proximity of other buildings it is difficult to take a good picture of the Stephansdom cathedral without a special lens. At night, the cathedral shines white, and seems impossibly large with the dark sky as if alpine mountains from a distance.
Under the cathedral are catacombs. Outside, there is a pulpit built in 1456 to celebrate the defeat of the Turks in Belgrade. More Turkish history - the bell in the northern tower was taken from the Turkish abandoned departments when they fled the city in 1683.
Being in Stephansdom, you can listen to the local cathedral radio broadcasting classical music on FM frequency 107.3. Why 107.3? Because it is the closest possible frequency close to 107.2, which is the height of the cathedral in meters.
The southern tower is 60.6 meters lower than the north, which is 136.4 meters high.
There is a legend that the cathedral architect disappeared right after her consecration in 1147. Some people consider this a sign that divine powers participated in the construction.
Most of the cathedrals are set east or west, this one is set somewhere near the south-east. It is said that it is directed to the place where the morning sun rises on December 26, 1137.
Once a pagan church stood here, to this day the remains of this church can be found with Stephansdom. There was a custom of Catholic churches to use fragments of pagan churches to reject their charm and show the power of the new church.
The church gently tilts to the left.
There is an attic above the sanctuary, which is the place of public gatherings and all exhibitions.
For more than 500 years, the southern tower was used as the headquarters of the fire brigade.
In 1263 Bishop Otto of Passau consecrated the cathedral.
In the years 1417 - 1430, the lower sacristy was built, three years later the construction of the southern tower was completed.
During the battle with the Turks in 1683, the cathedral was hit by more than 1,000 cannon shells.
1782 - Emperor Joseph II forbade more funerals in the Stephansdom catacombs. The remains of almost 11,000 bodies are still lying there, they are available for viewing to visitors.
1945 - the cathedral burned for two days as a result of jumping a spark from an adjacent burning building. Stephansdom was partially damaged also three years later, during the Second World War.
Official website: http://www.stephansdom.at
"The most beautiful interior: Saint Stephan's Cathedral. Can not be played any more: we have the most sacred interior of the church in the world." - Adolf Loos, Architect