St. Stephen's Cathedral
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Area:Carinthian Street / St. Stephe   Sightseeing Genre: Sights


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One of best historical sites in Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city's most recognizable symbols.The funeral of the Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi was held in this cathedral in 1741.


Standing at 136 metres tall (445 ft) and affectionately referred to by the city's inhabitants as "Steffl" (a diminutive form of "Stephen"), St. Stephen's Cathedral's massive south tower is its highest point and a dominant feature of the Vienna skyline. Its construction lasted 65 years, from 1368 to 1433. During the Siege of Vienna in 1529 and again during the Battle of Vienna in 1683, it served as the main observation and command post for the defence of the walled city, and it even contains an apartment for the watchmen who, until 1955, manned the tower at night and rang the bells if a fire was spotted in the city. At the tip of the tower stands the double-eagle imperial emblem with the Habsburg-Lorraine coat of arms on its chest, surmounted by a double-armed apostolic cross, which refers to Apostolic Majesty, the imperial style of kings of Hungary.


There are 18 altars in the main part of the church, and more in the various chapels. The High Altar and the Wiener Neustadt Altar are the most famous.

The first focal point of any visitor is the distant High Altar, built over seven years from 1641 to 1647 as part of the first refurbishment of the cathedral in the baroque style. The altar was built by Tobias Pock at the direction of Vienna's Bishop Philipp Friedrich Graf Breuner with marble from Poland, Styria and Tyrol. The High Altar represents the stoning of the church's patron St. Stephen. It is framed by figures of patron saints from the surrounding areas – Saints Leopold, Florian, Sebastian and Rochus – and surmounted with a statue of St. Mary which draws the beholder's eye to a glimpse of heaven where Christ waits for Stephen to ascend from below.

South tower

The tall gothic steeple called South Tower, with a height of 136.44 meter, dominates the city's skyline. It was originally built between 1350 and 1433, and reconstructed after heavy damage in World War II. A spiral staircase, leads to the top of the tower and a view of Vienna.

General Information

NameSt. Stephen's Cathedral
Opening Hours9:00-11:30/13:00-16:30, Sun&National Holidays 13:00-16:30
ClosedOpen Everyday
Access1 minute walk from STEPHANSPLATZ station


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Carinthian Street / St. Stephe
Stephansplatz 1, 1010 Wien
01 515523054
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