Wednesday, 2 September 2015

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) is visible everywhere in the downtown area of Vienna, and is one of the tallest churches in the world. It is HUGE! If you have lost your bearings in the small streets, just look for the tower. Construction started in the 12th Century on the ruins of two earlier churches. It's the most important religious building in Vienna. And it's shown on Austrian 10 cent euro coins.

St. Stephen's Cathedral is just over 107m long and 34m wide. The tallest of the four towers is 136m high and to get to the top requires climbing 343 steps. Warning: don't attempt it if you have bad knees. The towers are home to 13 bells. The bell called The Pummerin was cast from a cannon captured from the Turks in the 1600s, and is the second biggest free swinging chimed church bell in Europe.

The north side of the roof shows the coats of arms of the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria. The Imperial double headed eagle of the Hapsburgs appears on the other side. 230,000 glazed ceramic tiles make up the steep roof. 

At the Capistran Chancel, an 18th Century sculpture shows St. Francis trampling on a beaten Turk, under a golden sunrise. St Francis looks pretty happy. I feel rather sorry for the Turk.


There's the Imperial Hapsburg double headed eagle on the roof.

Stephansplatz at night. 
More pictures to come.
If you have visited Vienna, please leave me a comment and tell me about it.

11 comments:

Revrunner said...

Such a striking roof!

Tomoko said...

Such an amazing building! Those photos were taken well. I especially like the last one.
Have a good day.

Jono said...

That must have taken some serious engineering and building skill.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a Magnificent Church! So very Beautiful...! Thanks for all the pictures, my dear. It really gives one areal sense of size and the true beauty of the building. Never been to Vienna, I'm sorry to say.....!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow! St. Stephen's Cathedral is really gorgeous!
What a stunning ceramic tiles on the roof!
Love all the photos!
Wishing you and yours a lovely weekend.

Maggie May said...

I love old cities and buildings that are steeped in history.
Beautiful photos.
I have never visited Vienna.
Maggie x

troutbirder said...

I took a group of high school students to Germany & Austria some years ago. Vienna was definitely a highlight....:)

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm impressed!

stardust said...

This post led me down the memory lane. I enjoyed Vienna a lot about fourteen years ago. I walked around in the daytime but the night view seen from the bus was so impressive when I arrived at Vienna.

Yoko

Birdman said...

I'm partial to the night shots. Towering light...

Vagabonde said...

Yes, that cathedral is enormous. When we visited Vienna they were doing some work on one of the towers I kind of recall. Outside there were people in period costumes selling tickets for evening concerts – we did get some and heard beautiful music. We also visited the castle outside of town. One of my favorite things though was going to one of the old cafes and eat a tasty chocolate pastry (I recall a great Linzer torte) along some strong Viennese coffee.