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Rick Osterfeld Jr. | profile | all galleries >> St. Stephen's Cathedral Catacombs tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

St. Stephen's Cathedral Catacombs

St. Stephen's Cathedral defines the city centre and has been the heart of Vienna for centuries. It is one of the most famous Viennese sights and was built in 1147 AD. For a long time it was uncontested as highest building in Europe measuring almost 137 m.

Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg ordered the complete restructuring of the church in Gothic style. In 1359, he laid the cornerstone of the nave with its two aisles. The South Tower, was completed in 1433 (the Viennese have given it the nickname "Steffl," representative of the whole cathedral).
The cathedral has got two very impressive features: The gigantic roof, and the tall, lean tower (136,7 metres of hight). One can find only few gothic towers of such height that were finished in the Middle Ages. Inside the Cathedral there are many art treasures like the tomb of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1754), the Altarpiece of Wiener Neustadt, the pulpit by Anton Pilgram (1514-15), the sepulcher of Emperor Frederik III by Niclas Gerhaert (1467-1513), the watchman`s lookout, a self portrait of the sculptor, and the Gothic winged altar.
The sound of the 'Pummerin', the cathedrals big bell, is used to celebrate New Year in Austria.

Many myths are being told about Vienna's famous landmark: Find out about this weird indentation of the wall at the left side of the main entrance, which was used to measure the size of a loaf of bread by dissatisfied customers.
Then there's the story of the Servants' Madonna, which once saved an innocent girl from being arrested for stealing.
At the cathedral's apse you can admire the so-called "Zahnwehherrgott" (Lord of tooth ache), an 'ecce homo' statue once situated at the graveyard outside the cathedral.
And what about the incomplete northern steeple? Financial troubles because of the permanent threat of a Turkish siege? The Gothic style had gone out of fashion? Yes, all this is true. But the legend of the young architect who was mortally in love with the daughter of the architect building the southern steeple is much more intriguing...

Entrance to the Catacombs
Entrance to the Catacombs
Bishops tomb
Bishops tomb
Habsburg room
Habsburg room
Habsburg room
Habsburg room
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Closed Bone Rooms
Closed Bone Rooms
Lower Priests
Lower Priests
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Habsburg room
Habsburg room
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Chaple
Chaple
Habsburg room
Habsburg room
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Stuff that has fallen off the Church
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
Buried Saints
Buried Saints
Under Ground War Chapel
Under Ground War Chapel
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Catacombs
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
More Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Closed off Bone Rooms
Closed off Bone Rooms
5 more Bone Rooms Closed off unstable
5 more Bone Rooms Closed off unstable
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
More Bone Rooms Closed off
More Bone Rooms Closed off
Black plague bone room
Black plague bone room
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
Bone Rooms
The Way out for the Living
The Way out for the Living