Overview and History
St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna can be described in an array of superlatives...
|it is a moving place of worship|
it is a world famous cultural heritage site and monument
that stands up confidently to international comparison
it is the national emblem of Austria and
a symbol of Austrian identity
it is a top class tourist attraction
As well as having its cultural significance, St. Stephen's Cathedral is also of course a church:
Seven services are held on weekdays and ten on Sundays. Always wonderfully decorated, the cathedral church of St. Stephen's becomes particularly busy with churchgoers on high feast days such as Easter, Whitsun and Christmas, etc.
Services of general interest (marriages, requiem services of important public figures, etc.) are often broadcast live on television. On these special occasions and on high feast days, the Pummerin can be heard ringing in the services.
The building and the cultural asset that is St. Stephen's Cathedral
has been the subject of many books, picture books and studies, etc.
The uniqueness of this cathedral and the countless thousands of details of which it is comprised make St. Stephen's a treasure trove of art history and architecture.
Altars, portals, towers, columnar figures, pictures: each detail has its own purpose, background and history.
St. Stephen's Cathedral was severely damaged by fire in the last days of the Second World War and virtually reduced to rubble. But with seemingly everyone lending a hand, the cathedral was rebuilt in just seven years: the emblem of Austria and symbol of Austrian identity had risen once more from the ashes.
To preserve this cultural heritage site for the next generations and to prevent the building from falling into disrepair, St. Stephen's Cathedral must continue to be carefully restored.
With almost three million visitors to Vienna a year
St. Stephen's Cathedral is the number one attraction in the city:
Tours in and around the Cathedral feature plenty of worthwhile things to see and lots of interesting information. You can also climb up St. Stephen's Cathedral (South Tower, Türmer Stube), take the lift up to the Pummerin (North Tower), or go down into the catacombs. Detailed information about the cathedral is offered on the guided tours.
Source: Dr. Annemarie Fenzl, Diocesan Archivist
St. Stephen‘s Cathedral
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