The immense Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) dominates its position on the square. For over 800 years, a church has sat on this site. The Cathedral, however, only dates from the 12th century. Between 1147 and the 14th century, a Romanesque Church sat on this spot. All that is left of this older structure are the Giant’s Doorway and the Heathen Towers. There is much from the Gothic period including the high vaulting of the Gothic nave, choir and side chambers. The spire is also Gothic. Once the tallest in Europe, it still is impressive at 136.7 meters.
There are many features to consider on visiting the Dom. You can see an intricate Gothic stone pulpit from the hands of Anton Pilgram decorated with portraits of the four Church Fathers. There is the Singer Gate and the 14th century St. Katherine’s Chapel. You must see the Catacombs as well as the Wiener Neustädter altar from 1447. The Albertine choir impresse,s as does the high altar by Tobias Puck. If you can, be sure to arrive in time to hear the Pummerin, the Boomer, Austria’s largest bell, sound off. If you have any time left over, pay a visit to the nearby Diocese museum – a treasure trove of artwork.
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