St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stefansdom)
St. Stefan – the symbol of Vienna and one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe – has an ancient and rich history. And it begins in the fourth century when on the place where is now the Cathedral, was built the first wooden Church, dedicated to St. Stefan.
By the XII century it was already the third Church in the Romanesque style, which became “the basis” for built the Gothic facade and towers. Strictly speaking, the construction of the Cathedral in the form in which it exists now, began in 1137. however, before 1221 no written mention of it has survived. In 1258 there was a big fire, which burned early Romanesque building, and almost all already built the Gothic part of the Cathedral, excluding the tower facade.
The temple was rebuilt five years later, the Central nave was significantly increased. “Survived” the fire towers have become the architectural “point of reference” for further construction, which began in 1304 by order of and under the personal supervision of king albert I. In 1359 G. grandson of king Rudolf IV ordered to increase the internal space of the temple.
The South tower and the Church building was completed by 1455 and the Northern tower is still unfinished – not enough funds. In 1511 its construction was definitively stopped, so in our day the South businessthese height of 136 m (at its top there is a viewing platform ), and the North – a total of 68.3 m. But it is the famous Pummerin – the largest bell of Austria, cast in 1711 from the metal of captured Turkish cannons, and, unlike the Tsar bell ringing on major feasts.
In 1469 the Church received the status of a Cathedral until the present time remains the Central Cathedral of Vienna but also the whole country.
The temple was badly damaged in the last days of World war II and was restored for seven years. Money for the restoration was raised by inhabitants of the whole country.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is in the center of the square, so its magnificent architecture can be enjoyed from all sides. The upper walls and roof are decorated with beautiful mosaics, which, unfortunately, is not very visible from below.
Inside the Cathedral is a huge sacred relics, each of which deserves special attention. In addition, in the catacombs are tombs of abbots of the Cathedral, and 72 members of the Habsburg dynasty. Many of the gravestones made by known craftsmen and are works of art.
In addition to luxurious gilded iconostasis and the carved pillars in the Cathedral you can admire the famous body . standing on a pedestal, created in 1513 by Anton Pilgram. In addition, in the temple there is an exact measure of the length of the fabric and the size of a loaf of bread, the medieval buyer could check whether ommunal the merchant.