Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral – the Gothic heart and landmark of Vienna


In which century did the construction of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna begin? Why is it called that? What number symbolism characterizes the most important Gothic building in Austria? What significant events took place in this church?

Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral is dedicated to the hl. Stephen, the first Christian martyr . The Gothic cathedral is the most famous ecclesiastical building in Austria and is located in the heart of the city on Stephansplatz. The beginnings go back to the 12th century. back and it was built for centuries . The north tower (68.3m) was built only in the 16th c. finished. The south tower is the highest church tower in Austria with a height of 136.4m . 343 steps lead up to the Türmerstube and the view is worth the strenuous climb.

If you prefer to be comfortable, take the elevator to the observation deck from the North Tower. Here also hangs the Pummerin, the largest bell in Austria, which can be heard only on solemn occasions. To get a taste of “morbid Vienna” , we recommend a visit to the underground catacombs.

The Habsburgs played a significant role in the design of the cathedral, which was worked on from the 12th century.

– 16th c. has built. Especially Rudolf IV was important for the expansion of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The ducal crypt was the most important burial place of the Habsburg sovereigns until the 16th century. Of art-historical importance are the tombs of Rudolf IV and Emperor Frederick III. Prince Eugene, the defender of Vienna against the Ottomans, is buried in the Cathedral’s Chapel of the Cross. St. Stephen’s Cathedral has been the seat of the bishop since 1469 and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna since 1722.

Mozart married his Constanze in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, his children were baptized here, and he was also blessed in this place in 1791 at the age of only 35 .


The roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral consists of 230,000 colorfully glazed roof tiles and represents the

k.u.k. Double eagle, as well as the coats of arms of the city of Vienna and Austria .

The St. Stephen’s Cathedral follows a special Number Symbolism. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is 333 feet (107.2 meters) long and 111 feet (34.2 meters) wide . Of the four towers, the South Tower is the tallest at 444 feet (136.4 meters) . 7x7x7 = 343 steps lead up to the turret room of the south tower . For 421 years, until December 31, 1955, a fireman served in the turret room, 72 meters above the ground. As soon as a fire broke out, he warned the population with a mouthpiece and waved a red flag, or a red lantern at night.

The cathedral was destroyed in the 2nd World War, but not by acts of war. In April 1945 , a large fire set by looters in the surrounding houses spread to the roof.

Seven years later, St. Stephen’s Cathedral was rededicated thanks to an Austria-wide fundraising campaign. The Viennese donated the new roof tiles, for example.

The locals affectionately call St. Stephen’s Cathedral “Steffl” . Via the pedestrian zone Kärntner Straße you go directly to the Vienna State Opera. Little Tip: Opposite the State Opera House is the world-famous Hotel Sacher, famous for the original Sacher Torte.


Time Travel Tip: Be sure to walk around the cathedral once to get an overall impression. The best photo opportunity is at the North Tower, (which is the shorter one with the green dome crown). From this side they get the whole cathedral on the picture, like here on the photo.

At the Manner store next to the North Tower, you can buy the famous Manner wafers (sweet little hazelnut wafers) in the pink wrapper. St. Stephen’s Cathedral adorns the packaging. The Schnitten are a popular Viennese souvenir and also good as a snack in between! Can also buy in any supermarket for your loved ones at home.

More info:









Share this post

More contributions


Planning a European city break?

Organising a journey might feel overwhelming, particularly when venturing to an unfamiliar city or country. But with Go City, it’s how the best city breaks

read more "

Information on data protection
We use technologies such as cookies, LocalStorage, etc. to customize your browsing experience, to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features, and to analyze traffic to our website. We also share information about how our site is used with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Our partners may combine this information with other data that you have provided to them or that you have collected as part of using the Services (incl. US providers). You can find more information about the use of your data in our data protection declaration.

data protection
This website uses cookies so that we can offer you the best possible user experience. You can find more information about the use of your data in our data protection declaration.

Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

Marketing & Statistics
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site and the most popular pages. Leave this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.

Google Tag Manager
This is a tag management system. Using the Google Tag Manager, tags can be integrated centrally via a user interface. Tags are small pieces of code that represent activitiescan track. Script codes from other tools are integrated via the Google Tag Manager. The Tag Manager makes it possible to control when a specific tag is triggered.