Stephansdom

sights / Religious

Stephansdom information

Location
Vienna , Austria
Address
01, Stephansplatz
Getting there
Metro: Stephansplatz
More information
www.stephanskirche.at
Opening hours
6am-10pm Mon-Sat, from 7am Sun, main nave & Domschatz audio tours 9-11.30am & 1-4.30pm Mon-Sat, 1-3.30pm Sun
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Vienna’s Gothic masterpiece Stephansdom, or Steffl (Little Stephan) as it’s nicknamed, is Vienna's pride and joy. A church has stood here since the 12th century, and reminders of this are the Romanesque Riesentor (Giant Gate) and Heidentürme . From the exterior, the first thing that will strike you is the glorious tiled roof , with its dazzling row of chevrons and Austrian eagle. Inside, the magnificent Gothic stone pulpit presides over the main nave, fashioned in 1515 by an unknown artisan.

One often-overlooked detail is the pulpit’s handrailing, which has salamanders and toads fighting an eternal battle of good versus evil up and down its length. The baroque high altar , at the very far end of the main nave, shows the stoning of St Stephen. The chancel to its left has the winged Wiener Neustadt altarpiece , dating from 1447; the right chancel has the Renaissance red marble tomb of Friedrich III . Under his guidance the city became a bishopric (and the church a cathedral) in 1469. Note that the main nave is closed during mass, held up to eight times a day.