Stephansdom, Vienna

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 235 Reviews

St.Stephens cathedral

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • View of the main altar
    View of the main altar
    by Jefie
  • Stephansdom
    by croisbeauty
  • Stephansdom
    by croisbeauty
  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens Cathedral and Stephensplatz

    by Odiseya Updated Feb 16, 2014
    Stephansdom
    4 more images

    St. Stephens Cathedral and Stephensplatz is well known touristic attraction and symbol of Vienna. It is also a popular meeting place and for my first all-myself-arranged trip its high spears was a main orientation point in my exploring Vienna's old town.

    Its architectures style is very interesting. It remind me on several similar but smaller (by its size and by its importance) like for example famous Matthias Church in Budapest. It is hard to make a unique insight on such a popular place. I don't even wish to do that. It is place you cannot miss and it is worth of time to explore its interior at least on your first visit. That is also a first stop for all organized touristic tours from Balkan as I assume it is for everywhere else. I find a information that this cathedral was visited by more then three millions tourists per year. And that is very impressive!

    Besides enjoying in its splendid interior design by self or with your tour guide you can enjoy in other touristic advantage. For visitors is allowed to climb up St. Stephen's Cathedral (South Tower, Türmer Stube), take the lift up to the Pummerin (North Tower) and visit its catacombs. There is a souvenirs shop of course. Prices are not high. I have nice cheap postcard.
    From building itself I like the roof mosaic especial. Roof tour it is not include or allowed, of course. All architecture lowers must go outside and admired it from far. In fact, the roof is so steep that its cleaning doing only mother nature. I found it that roof consist of 230000 glazed tiles. Its nice ornaments are very interesting. What a imagination especial because its style somehow don't seems to me to belong it there. It definitely "ruing" greyest of its splendor look. It simply reflect its long history. The cathedral is consecrated in 1147.

    Note that this is also and cathedral with very rich religious life. In fact this is a main church of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. Seven services are held on weekdays and ten on Sundays. The main feast day of 26 December. is also important to behave in accordance to respect of this holly place.

    Stephandom it would be and nice photo object but you need to be very creative if you don't have a good camera. It is to big to "put" in photo as object. But there is a very cool details you could find and "save" with your camera.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • favenchi's Profile Photo

    Stephensdom Catacombs , a must see

    by favenchi Written Jan 23, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    entrance to the Catacombs St Stephens Vienna
    4 more images

    St Stephens Vienna is a very old Church but what is below is very creepy!
    I have been to Vienna several times since the first visit in 1983 when I worked for the then Blue Danube Radio. This huge Church is in the centre of Vienna and is one of the main tourist attractions as well as being a fully functional Cathedral. There are regular tours of the Catacombs below the church.......this can cost a few Euro/s per person....and it is suggested you tip the guide...on our visit the Guide is a young man who does his talks to the visitors in English and German and he told us he is studying law in Vienna; There are bones and full skeletons of Plague Victims and some grissly stories of how they got there.....High Up Church Cardinals are buried there, and there is a crypt with sealed urns containing the internal Organs of the Hapsburg Royal Family....no pictures allowed there now, but I took some back in 1983 and have digitised these......same bones, well sealed off from the public.......when Plague victims were first interred there was quite a problem with churchgoers, especially in summer as you could well imagine?
    The tour takes about half an hour and the tour guide assured us the place is not haunted and there have even been people down there testing for ghosts.......
    We arrive back in daylight up some icy stone stairs (we visited just before Christmas 2013) and at this location at the side of the massive church are horse and carriage....we took the short ride of around 25 minutes with the charming young Katie and her horses Max and Philip...Katie spoke really good english and knows about all the places on the coach route.....we we given blankets as of course it was chilly in this open carriage....gives the best view, but there are also enclosed carriages available.
    Now outside the main church entrance you are likely to be confronted by young men dressed in period outfits selling tickets to a concert at Schonbrunn Palacw.....we fell for it, bought two tickets for a senior and a University Student...cost just under a 100 euro's for two people...some tickets can cost a lot more, especially for the so called VIP seats.....well this concert a few nights later was not in the main Palace, but in the former stables....No photos allowed......just 18 Orchestra members, the concert lasted less than 2 hours with interval, some of the ticket sellers are also in the orchestra....there is a man and a lady vocalist, and a married couple who do some ballet, and these two appear to have passed their "use-by" date...the music , well there's some Strauss and it all ends with the Radetsky March giving the audience that "Vienna New Year's Concert" experience....the New Year's Concert tickets can sell for up to 1200 euro/s so many think they are getting a bargain at this concert! During the interval i was charged 4 euro/s for one small bottle of Coca Cola....I would suggest you look at what's on in Vienna and book for a Strauss Operetta...usually there is one playing with a much larger Orchestra and many on stage....costs a bit more, but much much better! The interior of the St Stephen's Church has been well covered by others , and you can take pictures without flash. There is a souvenir shop in the Church and others outside in the street which cost a little less...Souvenirs in Vienna are mostly made in China these days.........so keep your picture memories, the city is still beautiful and charming.....I noticed T shirts selling for 49 euro/s!!! This is an absolute rip-off! At the nearby u-bahn station near the escalator you can look down through a glass panel at a former chapel which had been found when the U-ban tunnel was being dug out.......this is so nice to see, and the chapel dates back hundreds of years..

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 30, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    glazed tiles with double-headed eagle
    4 more images

    The roof is ornately patterned rich in colors and covered by glazed tiles. The tiles on the south side form a mosaic of the double-headed eagle, representing the symbol of the Habsburg dynasty.
    The Capistran Chancel is the pulpit, now outside the church, from which San Giovanni da Capistrano and general Janos Hunyadi preached a crusade in 1456 to hold back muslim invasion of christian Europe.
    There are 18 altars in the main part of the cathedral, the most famous is High Altar built from 1641 to 1647 in a Baroque style. The altar represents the stoning of St. Stephen.
    The stone pulpit is a masterwork of late Gothic sculpture. For long time it was attributed to Anton Pilgram but today Nikolas Gerhaert van Leiden is thought more likely to be the carver.
    Inside the cathedral we find the tombs and catacombs where more than 1000 people was buried. The most famous are tombs of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Frederick III, Rudolf IV and 78 containerswith the bodies, hearts or viscera of 72 members of the Habsburb dynasty, all containers preserved in the Ducal Crypt.
    The first organ is mentioned in 1334, so the cathedral has an organ tradition, but not one of the old organs survived. After the fire of 1945, the new organ was finished in 1960 by Michael Kauffmann. It is a large electric organ with 125 voices and 4 manuals. In 1991 the choir organ was added , it is mechanical organ with 56 voices and 4 manuals.

    Was this review helpful?

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 30, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Stephansdom is the Cathedral of Vienna and the seat of Archbishop. It has major importance in the history of Austria.
    The first parish church in Romanesque style was built here in 1137 on a site of an ancient cemetery from Roman times. It was consecrated in 1147 and dedicated to Saint Stephen. The first structure was completed in 1160 but the major reconstruction and expansion lasted until 1511. The present day west wall and Romanesque towers date from 1230-1245. Great fire in 1258 destroyed much of original building, the reconstruction works over the ruins had been replaced in 1263, when the church was consecrated for the second time. The Gothic Albertine Choir was added in 1340, and finally in 1359 Duke Rudolf IV ordered new additions which removed the second church (from 1263), leaving Stephansdom as it appears today. The south tower was completed in 1433 and the vaulting of the nave in 1474. The north tower was planned in 1450 but its construction was abandoned in 1511.
    Built of limestone, the cathedral is 107m long, 40m wide and 136m tall. The south tower is a dominant feature of the Vienna skyline. During the Battle of Vienna, in 1683, the tower served as the main observation and command post for the defence of the city.
    The main entrance to the church is named Reisentor (The Giant's Door). The tympanum, above the door, depicts Christ Pantocrator flanked by two winged angels. On the both sides of the main door are two Heidenturm (Roman Towers) and each stand of about 65m tall. The Roman Towers and the Giant's Door are the oldest parts of the church, from 1137.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St. Stephen

    by Raimix Updated Nov 2, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    It is the most famous Cathedral in Austria. It could be seen from in - detail Gothic architecture, monumental. This Gothic masterpiece is pictured on Austrian one euro cent. I haven’t got opportunity even to take photo of this entire Cathedral, only a part of it.

    It was built in 1147; the tall of the tower is 137 m. Climbing to the top of this church could be very hard work, but worth doing it because of breathtaking panorama of Vienna. Permission to the top of the church costs 3 euros for adult, 1 euro for child. More photos of this beauty are in my travelogue.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Splendid views from the Cathedral tower

    by aaaarrgh Written Sep 15, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    view
    1 more image

    I like to head straight for somewhere for a good arial view of any city I visit. The quite splendid Stephansdom (St Stephens cathedral) has a great view from its tall south tower. This is not for the unfit or faint-hearted because there are over 330 winding steps up a spiral staircase to negotiate!

    Access is from the street and the cost is 4 euros per adult (2013). On the way up (or down) you have great close-up views of the fabulous multi-coloured tiled roof, as well as cleverly placed windows for views of the gargoyles. The stairs open out unexpectedly into a gift shop, with a depressed shop assistant selling postcards and religious souvenirs. There is a panoramic view from the large windows, over the rooftops, spires, domes and neighbours' gardens.

    Great fun and very good exercise!!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ValbyDK's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom

    by ValbyDK Written Sep 13, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stephansdom
    3 more images

    St. Stephen's Cathedral is located in the centre of Vienna, on the site where an old parish church was built in the middle of the 12th century. This old church was extended, modified, and rebuilt over the next 300 years, and the present look of the Romanesque and Gothic style cathedral dates from around the 15th century.

    The cathedral is huge; 107 meters long, 40 meters wide, the North Tower is 68 meters tall, and the South Tower (the highest point) is 136 meters tall. The cathedral is rather dark inside and not easy to see all the details. The roof is covered by glazed tiles, and there are some famous paintings, around 20 altars (like the High Altar and the Wiener Neustadt Altar), pulpits, and several chapels around the cathedral. It is free to enter, but you'll only have access to the sides of the cathedral. If you want to visit the main part you'll have to pay a fee! You can also join different guided tours, for instance the Cathedral Tour, Treasure, Catacombs, or climb the South Tower.

    I paid the fee to have a closer look at the main part of the cathedral, and I also joined the tour to the catacombs. Thousands of people are buried here, and you will see some skulls and bones in the catacombs. But also the crypts of the Bishops - and tombs and urns with remains of the members of the Habsburg Empire.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom

    by antistar Updated May 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stephansdom, Midnight Mass, Vienna
    2 more images

    I was lucky enough to be at the Stephansdom for Christmas Eve, and couldn't believe I was able to make it into Midnight Mass in the main Cathedral of one of Europe's major capital cities. It was an impressive experience, from the sound of the bells calling the faithful to worship, through the procession of the Archbishop and his entourage, to the choir singing in the transept.

    Stephansdom is not the most impressive Cathedral I've seen in Europe, and it was covered in scaffolding when I was there. It's not all that pretty or stunning, and the wonderful architecture that abounds in Vienna made it feel rather ordinary, relatively. Even the interior wasn't all that impressive. The best thing about the Cathedral is its location, right in the center of everything. This makes it a great point to navigate from.

    I won't bore you with a poor rehashing of the Cathedral's history, as you can read an excellent article on that at Wikipedia in the link below.

    Was this review helpful?

  • freddie18's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

    by freddie18 Written Mar 28, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, AUSTRIA

    The Inner City is known for its most famous attractions like the St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg palace. The St Stephen’s Cathedral, also known as Stephansdom in German language, was originally a basilica that was built on a Romanesque sanctuary in the 12th century. Today the Cathedral is known as a premier Gothic structure in Europe that is filled with spectacular sculptures, paintings, wood carvings and altars.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    On St.Stephens cathedral square

    by kris-t Updated Mar 24, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vienna

    The Stephansdom (Cathedral of Saint Stephen is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archbishop, a beloved symbol of Vienna and the site of many important events in Austria's national life.

    The cathedral had previously been thought that the church had been built in an open field outside the city walls, but during excavations for a long-awaited heating system during 2000, graves carbon-dated to the fourth century were found 8 feet (2.5 m) below the surface.

    The 430 skeletons were then moved to the catacombs. Thousands of others must have been buried in the ancient cemetery of this neighborhood starting in Roman times, and this (instead of St. Ruprecht's Church) could be the oldest church site in Vienna.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Cathedral

    by Jefie Updated Jan 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View from the cathedral's spire
    4 more images

    The basic structure of this church was completed in 1160. Stephansdom, or St. Stephen's Cathederal in English, is the most important church of the city and the seat of the Archdiocese of Vienna. However, the main doorway and twin towers of the facade are all that remains of the original church. The church was reconstructed after an important fire occurred in the 13th century, and it was also enlarged on several occasions, eventually reaching its current length of 107 m and width of 47 m in the 15th century. The cathedral's most distinctive features, its 137-m high spire and tiled roof featuring the double-headed eagle coat of arms of the Habsburg, were completed at the same time. The cathedral was saved fom destruction during World War II when a German officer decided to ignore the orders he had received to destroy it and leave it in ruins. However, it was partially damaged when surrounding builidings were bombed and caught fire. The cathedral reopened in 1952. Inside, the magnificient high altar is flanked by several smaller altars in side chapels. Guided tours of the cathedral and catacombs are offered in English daily and might be the best way to discover all of its splendors. The spire also features an observatory that's not to be missed; without a doubt, it offers the most wonderful views of the city!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Fiat lux!

    by breughel Updated Sep 21, 2012

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Polychromatic floodlight of ceiling.
    4 more images

    Two years ago I complained here about the very dark interior of the cathedral. On my new visit (end May 2012) the church was transformed in a festival of polychromatic floodlights!
    Everywhere red, mauve, bleu, orange lights illuminating the floor, walls and ceiling. It was most surprising. Furthermore the windows were clad with stripes of colored transparent plastic.
    I suppose it was the intention to create the same effect as that when the sun is shining through stained windows. I found it somewhat exaggerated but certainly spectacular.

    The renovation works at the main entry called the "Riesentor" Giant's Door and the "Heidentürme" towers are now finished so that you get a nice view standing in the Jasomirgstrasse. The name for these towers on the west front derives from the fact that they were constructed from old structures built by the Romans ("Heiden" means pagan) during their occupation of the area.
    Renovation works are still going on at the main tower.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Very dark interior.

    by breughel Updated Sep 21, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Restored part of north
    1 more image

    On my previous trip I visited the church and the catacombs and must confess that I was not "begeisterd" to use a German word meaning enthusiasmed.
    From outside I certainly appreciate the originality of the roof decoration (makes me think of Burgundy) but I have seen other Gothic edifices in Europe making me feel more enthusiast.
    It is not a matter of not looking enough at the Stephansdom because on this new trip my hotel room had a view on the main entry called the "Riesentor" Giant's Door and the "Heidentürme", that each stand at approximately 65 meters tall. The name for these towers on the west front derives from the fact that they were constructed from old structures built by the Romans ("Heiden" means pagan) during their occupation of the area.

    This part, the oldest of the church, was undergoing renovation (2011). To hide the works a canvas painted like the real church looked covers the walls. Photo 1 shows the renovated part, photo 2 the works going on above the entrance hidden by the painted canvas. The renovation is now (2012 ref. my new tip) finished.

    I also went inside several times but did not pay for an audio guide because the church was so dark that I would have needed infrared spectacles to see something of the announced "wealth of art treasures".
    I know some churches where the visitor has to put some coins in a trunk to get light but at St. Stephen's Cathedral I saw no lights and found no paying device to get some.
    There are guided tours; maybe that the guides have flashlights.
    Sorry for this negative comment but I can only tell you what I did not see.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    Opening times of St. Stephen’s

    by lotharscheer Updated Sep 3, 2012

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Stephen���s
    4 more images

    Opening times with some restriction during services:
    Monday to Saturday: 06:00 - 22:00
    Sundays and Public Holidays: 07:00 - 22:00
    http://www.stephanskirche.at/index.jsp?menuekeyvalue=11&langid=2
    http://www.stephanskirche.at/index.jsp?menuekeyvalue=13&langid=2

    Guided Tours:
    Monday to Saturday
    between 9 am and 11.30 am, and
    between 1 pm and 4.30 pm
    Sundays and Public Holidays
    between 1 pm and 4.30

    Cathedral Tour:
    all year round, takes about 30 minutes, meeting point: pulpit
    Monday to Saturday: 10.30 am and 3 pm
    Sundays and Public Holidays: 3 pm
    € 4,50
    Tower Climb:
    Monday to Sunday: 9 am - 5.30 pm
    € 3,50

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens Cathedral

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 4, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Stephens Cathedral and Stephensplatz: Of course, one would have to be blind to miss it!

    This Cathedral is not only a heritage and cultural site, a national emblem of Austria, a landmark in the city of Vienna and a world class tourist site. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. Most importantly, it is an active parish for the people of Vienna. This was the parish Mozart went to worship and he was married here as well.

    Due to historical events, this modern version we see is the third built on this site and it is admired by everyone who sees it.

    In fact I notice that in several other cities I had visited, when we went to the local Cathedral I was told that their's was the, "St. Stephens" of that place. They may be lovely, but they fall short of the original which is worth seeing. Don't miss a closer view.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Archeology
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Vienna

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Stephansdom
3.5 out of 5 stars
164 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
193 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
218 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Vienna hotels