In the middle of Vienna you can find the landmark of the city - St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom). You can easily get there by metro line U1 - leaving at Praterstern right in front of our hotel and exiting at "Stephansplatz". Alternatively you can also reach it within a 20 minute walk.
The history of this impressive building is dated back to the 12th century. Nowadays up to 5 million people (about 14.000 on average daily) are visiting St. Stephen's Cathedral every year.
The gothic building is 107 meters long and 34 meters wide. In total the church has 4 towers, the southern tower is the highest with 136 meters. The nothern tower has never been finished and is just 68 meters high. In the sothern tower the "Pummerin" is located - the biggest church bell of the entire cathedral. It weighs more than 20.000 kilograms and has a diameter of more than 3 meters. During a fire at the ned of the Second World War the old bell was destroyed and so the recent bell is hanging in the cathedral since 1957 - as Europes second biggest free swinging church bell.
If you want to enjoy a great view over the city centre of Vienna, we recommed you to take the 343 stairs up a circular stair to reach the "Türmerstube" in the southern tower. Sometimes it can get tight as people use the same stairs to go down again - but once you make it to the top the unique view rewards you for the effort. As St. Stephen's cathedral has been Viennas highest building for centuries, this "Türmerstube" - a room in 72 meters height - has been used as a lookout for the fire station. So fires could be spotted faster during day and night.
Equally impressive as the view from above is the inside of the church. Starting from the barouque high altar, the huge organ as well as the beautiful windows, the pulpit and the "Fenstergucker" a statue of a man who is leaning out of a window, located below the pulpit. Did you know that the cathedral is also the last resting place for many people? Imperator Frederick III might be the most famous one - he was the first emperor of the House of Habsburg during the 15th century. It is also known that the viscerals of Napoleon Bonaparte's son are located here.
Additionaly the St. Stephen's Cathedral is the grave of numerous former residents of Vienna. During the 18th century the graveyard has been closed and the remains have been brought to the catacombs. Also during the period of the pest lots of bodies could not be burried appropriately and so more than 10.000 bodies were collected in the catacombs of the church. At the beginning of the 19th century people tidied up the catacombs and stapled numerous bones and skulls. Since then some areas of the catacombs are open to the public - but let us warn you: this might not be something for the faint-hearted visitors.
In general the St. Stephen's Cathedral is a witness of Vienesse history. As it is located it the city centre - it always has been an important place for trade and the daily life of the inhabitants of Vienna. Next to the main entry, on the lefthand side, a very old scale is located. Every child in Vienna learns about this story during primal school. The scale served for one of the most important meals back in time: bread. If a customer blamed a baker for cheating regarding the size of the bread, they went to St. Stephen's Cathedral and took a measure. Between the 13th century and up to the year 1773 the punishment of "Bäckerschupfen" was quite common. If a baker was convicted of betrayal, he was put into a cage and put into the Danube river a few times - accompanied by the mockery of the audience.
Visit the landmark of Vienna and discover the countless details and pieces of art hidden in and around the building of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Additionally we recommed you to take a look at the nearby sights!