St. Stephan’s Cathedral
The St. Stephan’s Cathedal – affectionaly known by the Viennese as Steffl – marks the center of Vienna and is one of the most important sights of the city. Its roots date back to the Middle Ages and it is one of the most important gothic buildings in Europe. Starting with 1230 the Late Romanesque building was constructed. The Cathedral has 4 towers, of which the South Tower is the highest with 136,5 meters.
The third largest swinging bell in Europe, the Pummerin, is located in the not finished North Tower. After the old Pummerin from 1711 was destroyed at the end of World War II, the new Pummerin was cast in 1951. It weighs 20 000 kilo. It only gets sound on a few rare occassions such as the beginning of the New Year or state funerals.
One of the most important buildings in Europe
The particularly striking roof of the Cathedral raises 37 meters above the nave and is 110 meters long. After the roof was destroyed by a fire during the 2nd World War it was rebuild by November 1950.
The eye-catching Giant Gate (Riesentor) on the West side of the Cathedral is one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral and is rich in symbolism. The nave of the Cathedral consists of three parts where the middle one is directed towards the main altar. Visitors have many possibilities to experience St. Stephan’s Cathedral – not only the main part of the Cathedral but also the catacombs and the Pummerin. The very sportive can climb the South Tower with its almost 350 steps to the so-called Türmerstube and enjoy a wonderful view of Vienna. It is advised though to check the masses schedule before visiting the Cathedral.