The Stephansdom - St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna has endured through many wars and has become a symbol of Vienna's freedom. This Gothic cathedral was first built in 1147 AD and itÂ’s most impressing characteristics defines the city center and has been the heart of Vienna for centuries. It is one of the most majestic and famous Viennese sights and for a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 meters. The diamond-patterned tile roof was added in 1952.
STEPHANSDOM: THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT STEPHEN
The Stephansdom - St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna has endured through many wars and has become a symbol of Vienna's freedom. This Gothic cathedral was first built in 1147 AD and it’s most impressing characteristics defines the city center and has been the heart of Vienna for centuries. It is one of the most majestic and famous Viennese sights and for a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 meters. The diamond-patterned tile roof was added in 1952.
Stephansdom - Photo by natsu
The original church on this site of St. Stephen’s cathedral was a Romanesque church which was replaced by a much larger cathedral in 1147. In around 1258, a devastating fire damaged the cathedral and the construction of the present Gothic cathedral began in the early 14th century.
Gothic and Modern - Photo by bundu
The cathedral suffered damage during the Turkish attacked of 1683 and again at the ending of World War II, when a fire cause by street fighting leap to the rooftop. It was reopened in 1948; the roof was repaired and decorated with ceramic tiles donated by the citizens of Vienna in 1950. Now this modern addition meets Gothic.
Detailed of Roof and Tower - Photo by cilest
The cathedral is an impressive Gothic structure of dark stone with a colorful tiled roof with a north tower rising to 450 feet (approximately 135-137m) named Alter Steffl, meaning "Old Steve." This eminent tower was originally built between 1359 and 1433; it was reconstructed after severe war damages. A climb of 343 spiral steps provides amazing view of the landscape of the city from the top.
Interior view from the west end - Photo by Andrea Kirkby
Another north tower (Nordturm) was never finished to match its better-half, but was given a Renaissance crown in 1529. Atop of this tower, are fine views and a look at the Pummerin bell. It can be reached by an elevator ride. The Pummerin bell is one of the largest bells in the world, cast from a cannon captured from the Turks in 1683. It rings out over the city of Vienna on New Year's Eve.
The interior contains many interesting elements to see, including artworks. One of the splendid treasures is the Wiener Neustadt altarpiece (1447) in the left chapel of the choir, richly gilded and decorated with elaborate painted featuring the Virgin Mary between the saints Catherine and Barbara.
Interior view from the Nave - Photo by Jason Burmeister
The stone pulpit dating 1510-50, in the middle of the nave depicts the images of the four Latin Church priors: Ambrose, Gregory, Augustine and Jerome, all full of personality. Interestingly is the rare self-portrait of the artist – Anton Pilgram, located under the stairs, looking out a window with his sculpture’s compass on hand. This element marks the transition point into the Renaissance, when artists began to be famous instead of anonymous.
Altar of the Stephansdom - Photo by Mike Reed
The railing of the pulpits is overlaid in interesting symbols: the lizards are animals of light; the toads are animals of darkness and the “Dog of the Lord” atop protect the sermon from their influence. A three parts wheel represents the Trinity rolling up, while the wheels with four parts (the four seasons, representing mortality and worldly life) roll down. A noticeable element is the unusual 17th century tomb of Emperor Frederick III in the Apostles’ choir, which features outrageous creatures trying to disturb the emperor. At the cathedral's apse one can appreciate the so-called "Zahnwehherrgott" (Lord of tooth ache), an 'ecce homo' statue once situated at the graveyard outside the cathedral.
Among the significant events that have happened at St. Stephen's cathedral are Mozart's wedding in 1782 and his funeral in December 1791
The "O5" stoned-carved outside the cathedral's massive front door has important historical significance. The number 5 stands for the fifth letter of the alphabet, E. When converted it makes OE, the abbreviation for Österreich (Austria). O5 was a covert sign of resistance to the Nazi annexation of Austria.