Stephansdom, Vienna

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St.Stephens cathedral

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  • View of the main altar
    View of the main altar
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    On St.Stephens cathedral square

    by kris-t Updated Mar 24, 2013

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    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.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Cathedral

    by Jefie Updated Jan 7, 2013

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    View from the cathedral's spire
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    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!

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Fiat lux!

    by breughel Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    Polychromatic floodlight of ceiling.
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    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.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Very dark interior.

    by breughel Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    Restored part of north
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    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.

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  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    Opening times of St. Stephen’s

    by lotharscheer Updated Sep 3, 2012

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    St. Stephen���s
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    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

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens Cathedral

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 4, 2012

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    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.

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    Stefan's Dom

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 28, 2012

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    Stefan's Dom.
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    Saint Stephen's Cathedral

    This huge building dominates the centre of Vienna. It is hard to fit into a photo! I have been inside once and remember it has a very dark interior. This year we just looked from the outside. There are some lovely carvings on the outside walls. The cathedral dates from 1147. The cathedral was badly damaged in the second world war, but the south tower survived intact and is seen as a symbol of the indestructibility of the Viennese.

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral)

    by Airpunk Written Jul 23, 2012
    On the top of the Stephansdom
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    The Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral - or "Steffl" as it is often called in local dialect) Vienna's main church, see of the Archbishop of Vienna and surely one of the most visited sights of the country. It dates back to the consecration of a parish church on the same spot in 1147, but there may have been even older churches on the same spot. During a restauration in the yaer 2000, a couple of graves from the 4th century were discovered. St. Stephen's got most of its present shape under Rudolf IV in the 14th century so that the predominant style is Gothic. This was also kept after the renovation needed after the Turkish Siege of 1634. The Western entrance with the "Heathen's Towers" is Romanesque and one of the oldest parts of the building. The church was heavily destroyed in WWII during a fire in 1945. The glazed roof tiles (1490) are highly decorated with patterns and coats of arms and can be seen from many parts around the City. The South Tower is Vienna's highest point and is the home of around a dozen of bells, including the "Kleine Glocke" (small bell) from around 1280. The most famous is the "Pummerin" (Europe's second most heavy bell) which was destroyed in 1945 as well but recast in 1951.

    Entry to the church itself is free, you have to pay however for guided tours or to visit the South Tower. Contrary to similar churches, there is a lift so that the belltower is also accessible for those who don't like narrow staircases (although the staircase option is only available fro emergencies and not for regular visitors). Please be advised however, that it can be windy up there and that there are a couple of steps which are not suitbale for everyone.

    Austria is a very Catholic country and this place is after all not a museum but a place of worship. Thus expect that some areas may be closed for visitors and that you might be "invited" to leave one of those areas, if you do not want to stay and pray. That, however, should not have an effect on your visit. The only really negative impact is the smell of horse dung (from the horses and carriages parking in front of the church) in the summer months. And if the horses deter you from entering the Cathedral, you can have a look at it at every Austrian 10 Euro cent coin.

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    St.Stephen's Cathedral

    by kris-t Updated May 13, 2012

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    Stephansdom
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    The Stephansdom, or St. Stephen's Cathedral, was build in Gothic style back in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries, with the Romanesque "Giant's Doorway" on the west facade dating back to the early 1200s.

    The Hochturm or south toweris 450 feet or 137 meters was built more than 600 years ago.

    You have to explore the interior but also allow time for towers and Catacombs

    The north tower has an elevator and stairs.
    The Hochturm requires a climb of 246 feet (75 meters) up a spiral staircase to the observation platform. The views from the top are breathtaking, and you'll also be able to see the colorful rooftop of glazed tiles at close range.

    If you will take the guided tour below ground you will see the bones of dead rulers, archbishops, and other personages. Also you will explore the catacombs where the bones of more than 15,000 Viennese have been stacked like kindling since the 1700s.

    St. Stephen's is open daily for tours and worship.

    Monday to Saturday 6 am - 10 pm

    Sundays and Public Holidays 7 am - 10 pm

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  • yvgr's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Cathedral

    by yvgr Updated Apr 10, 2012

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    Steffl - on the roof.
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    St. Stephen's Cathedral or Stephansdom, or just "Steffl" for locals is a must see for everyone interested in history or architecture! It kind of dominate a large spot of central Vienna. Finished in 1160 it has many scary symbols of religious devotion and earthly power.

    I also suggest the crypt tour which shows the remains of numerous plague victims and the final resting place of the Habsburg monarchs and their families. This will cost you an extra and taking photos of the human remains in the crypt is not allowed. Don't miss the opportunity in taking the elevator up into one of its towers and admire the city from above. Spectacular view of the city.

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  • mirchica's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens Cathedral

    by mirchica Written Apr 4, 2012

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    Up to now I haven't noticed much the difference between Catholic and Protestant churches and cathedrals but this time I was told a little bit more about it and I kind of like more the Catholic ones, at least St. Stephens Cathedral. It is huge and amazing and there were many people inside - worshipers and visitors, the chore was singing and the atmosphere was really spiritual!

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  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria ...

    by TrendsetterME Written Mar 8, 2012

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    Stephansdom, Vienna, Austria
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    The church was dedicated to St. Stephen, who was also the patron of the bishop's cathedral in Passau, and so was oriented toward the sunrise on his feast day of 26 December, as the position stood in the year that construction began.

    Built of limestone, the cathedral is 107 meters (350 ft) long, 40 meters (131 ft) wide, and 136 meters (445 ft) tall at its highest point. Over the centuries, soot and other forms of air pollution accumulating on the church have given it a black color, but recent restoration projects have again returned the building to its original white.

    There are 18 altars in the main part of the church and more in the various chapels. The High Altar and the Wiener Neustadt Altar are the most famous.

    The cathedral is located at the Stephansplatz, heart of the city, w full of shops, cafes, restaurants and many more historical sites to see and visit ... :)

    The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna's cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world. Before the 20th century, a row of houses separated Stephansplatz from Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, but since their destruction, the name Stephansplatz started to be used for the wider area covering both.

    To the west and south, respectively, run the exclusive shopping streets Graben and Kärntner Straße. Opposite the Stephansdom is the Haas-Haus, a piece of striking modern architecture by Hans Hollein. Although public opinion was originally skeptical about the combination of the mediæval cathedral and the glass and steel building, it is now considered an example of how old and new architecture can mix harmoniously.

    Well recommended area to visit the cathedral and the concerning Kaertnerstrasse ...

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Stephansdom

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Jun 30, 2011

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    Stephansdom roof

    The gothic-style Stephansdom is a very beautiful church in the center of the Vienna oldtown. It has also one of the best viewing points of Vienna (if your fitness is good, climb the steps to the tower of the cathedral). The entrance to the tower is in a little, easily overlooked office at the side of the church (not in the main hall). The most beautiful feature in my opinion is the colourful roof, made from mosaic-like tiles.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    St Stephan's Cathedral

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St Stephan's Cathedral
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    Vienna's foremost church, the great cathedral stands in the heart of the old city. The first church built was a Romanesque cathedral completed in 1147. After a fire, the present Gothic cathedral was completed in the 14th century. It suffered serious damage during the Turkish siege in 1683 and again in the last days of World War II. It has seen its share of historical events, including Mozart's wedding and his funeral.

    The chief attraction is Alter Scheffl, or Old Steve, the huge north tower. Climbing 343 steps to the top, visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the city.

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  • Karlie85's Profile Photo

    Katakomben (catacombs) tour

    by Karlie85 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Inside the Cathedral

    If you're looking for something a little darker to do, why not take a tour of the catacombs under the gothic Stephansdom Cathedral? For 4 Euros, you can take an approximately 20 minute guided tour (led in English and German) of the catacombs. The catacombs house remains of some of Vienna's famous Habsburg family, including various body parts in different urns. There are also chambers full of the bones of countless Black Plague victims, some neatly stacked and lined up, others seemingly resting where they fell. There are also some tombstones and statues. The tour is a very interesting look into another side of Vienna.

    Minimum 5 people required for the tour.

    Tour every 15-30 minutes. 10-11am, 1:30-4:30pm - Monday to Saturday. 1:30-4:30pm - Sunday.
    Meeting point inside the cathedral to the left. There will be a sign and a staircase going down.

    No photos allowed in the catacombs.

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