This is most crowded part of Vienna. Visitors of the Cathedral, people coming out of the U-Bahn station (2 lines), the start of the Graben and the Kärntnerstrasse with all their shops.
There are often events attracting even more people.
On the north side of the cathedral stand the fiacre. A good thing is that an effort was made to reduce the odor of the horse urine. Cars are not allowed except on the Schulerstrasse.
The architecture of the surrounding buildings is a mix of all styles from old to very modern.
I have been to several European countries and funny that this silly act seems to be very popular in most tourist spot.
It was very popular at least in Germany and my husband actually gave him 2 euro.
Especially common are men in gold or silver...and here a golden Mozart...you drop a nickel or two and he bow or do something or you can pose with him for a photo etc...!!! But this bloke was harrassed by many school kids who were in the last week of school term, and most were out in the city for some kind of excursion.
It is here at this location the Graben is found and it is where the centre of city life was during the Middle Ages.
For many centuries it was a food market but now it is dominated by buildings, both modern, neo classical style etc.
Also near here is the Plague Column...
The picture is of a modern building set among many many classical buidling. This is the Haas Haus
At the heart of Vienna is the Stephansplatz and Graben. Stephansplatz is a large open area famous for the cathedral of the same name and of the controversial Haas House opposite. Although a large glass building would appear on paper to be rather out of place in one of Vienna's most historical areas I think it works quite well with the prominant reflection of the cathedral showing on the glass.
The Graben was a marketplace during the times of Maria Theresa and was the centre point of Viennese life. Today there are a number of shops and cafes along the wide road as well as a couple of fountains and the beutiful Plague Column.
Stephansplatz is a major centerpoint of Vienna. With it's own metro stop, the mighty Stephandom church, Peterskirche a 2 minute walk away, the Mozarthaus a 2 minute walk the other, with many shops and restaurants all around, booths around the church and milling with hundreds of people day and night, this place was alway abuzz.
Stephansplatz is a square in the heart of Vienna. This is a good place to start your tour of the city. Located here is Stephansdom (see my tip), shops and a few restaurants nearby, and plenty of street performers. In the picture to the right, you can even see a little of the Haas Haus (1990), which is a modern building made of glass and aqua-colored marble.