St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Wiener Stephansdom) is considered the most important landmark of Vienna and is located in the very heart of the Austrian capital. As one of the most significant Gothic buildings in Austria the cathedral which people fondly call “Steffl” is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna since 1723. In addition to the numerous masses and church services also concerts take place in the unique atmosphere of the cathedral.

History of St. Stephen’s Cathedral – The South Tower as an architectural masterpiece

Particularly impressive is the South Tower, whose remarkable height of 136.4 metres represented an architectural masterpiece at the time of construction in the 15th century. In the opposite and never finished North Tower hangs the famous "Pummerin", the second largest free-swinging bell in Europe. After the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna it had been cast from cannon balls and until today traditionally rings in the New Year. During the Second World War it was destroyed just like large parts of the roof though, when the fire set by civil Austrian looters in shops around the cathedral spread to parts of the building. Today's Pummerin was eventually re-cast with addition of the original remains.

Attractions inside the dome

With more than 5 million visitors a year St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in Austria. Via a narrow spiral staircase visitors can reach the observation deck and take a stunning view over the rooftops of Vienna. Moreover, especially the catacombs together with the crypt are well worth a visit.

Image: (c) Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Wiesenhofer