The St. Stephen’s Cathedral is a Gothic-Romanesque cathedral that is located in the heart of Vienna. The first parish church consecrated in 1147, is the mother church in the district of Vienna.
It has been a living witness to Austria’s history and its colorful roof is the most recognizable symbol in Vienna.
It was built in honor of St. Stephen. It was created from limestone but the pollution and other forms of accumulation have affected it which is the reason that its color turned to black. Restorations have been started to bring the church back to its original color.
The most unique feature of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is none other that its multicolored roof. It is crafted out of glazed tiles with a mosaic of a double headed eagle. The eagle is the symbol of the Habsburg dynasty.
The bells of the cathedral consist of 23 bells in total. It is said that the composer Beethoven realized his deafness when he saw the birds fly out of the bell tower while they were ringing but he didn’t happen to hear them tolling. The largest bell of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is officially called St. Mary.
A memorial tablet located outside the cathedral gives the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s relationship with it. It was the composer’s parish church where he was married and where two of his children were baptized. Even his funeral was held at a chapel inside the church which marked his long running connection with the St. Stephen’s Cathedral even in his death.
The St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses several chapels inside it.
1. St. Katherine’s Chapel. The baptismal chapel located in the south tower.
2. St. Barbara’s Chapel. The meditation and prayer chapel located in the north tower.
3. St. Eligius’ Tower. The chapel located in the southeast corner which is dedicated to St. Valentine whose remain, one of the three that was held by various churches, is located in the cathedral.
4. St. Bartholomew’s Chapel. The chapel located above the St. Eligius’ Chapel.
5. The Chapel of the Cross. It is the burial place of Prince Eugene of Savoy and also the location of the funeral of Mozart. It is located in the northeastern corner of the cathedral.
6. St. Valentine’s Chapel. The resting place of one of the three remains of St. Valentine. It is the place where a collection of hundreds of relics from the Stephansdom is located.
The St. Stephen’s Cathedral, more than being a major spiritual edifice in the heart of city, is also the most important religious symbol in Vienna.