St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an impressive cathedral with an impressive history

  • St Stephen’s Cathedral, also known as Stephansdome, is much more than an impressing cathedral or the main religious building of the capital of Austria. It is also a historical place: St. Stephen’s Cathedral witnessed many historical events related to the Habsburg, the dynasty that ruled the Austro-Hungarian empire. The cathedral, a symbol of Vienna, is of Romanesque and Gothic style and it was built as we know it today in the 14th century, but it history goes further back. St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built over the ruins of two churches, the first one dating back to the 12th century. Two structures of the cathedral remain from that church: The Giant’s door and the Pagan or Roman Towers. However, the most recognisable tower is the 137-metre-tall one called the Steffl, which can be seen from lots of different spots of the city. Some other landmarks present in the cathedral are the Pummerin Bell and the catacombs.
  • The apartments near St. Stephen’s Cathedral are located in the Innere Stadt, which is the 1st district of Vienna according to its administrative divisions, and the district that holds the city centre and the historical town of Vienna. Since it is the old town, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful and monumental streets and to breathe its imperial past. Vienna is full of history, and staying in the Innere Stadt is a good excuse to learn more about it. Your neighbours will be locals but also tourists like yourself – the Innere Stadt is actually the least populated district of the city.
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located in Stephansplatz, which is one of the two plazas (the other being Karlplatz) that are communicated by Karntnerstrasse, one of the main shopping streets of Vienna. There you will find some exclusive fashion, shoes and accessories shops, and also some shops of famous brands such as Forever 21, Zara or H&M. There are also jewellery shops such as Swarovski, and some record shops as well - don’t forget that you’re very close to the Vienna State Opera! You will also find the Steffl department store, where you will find exclusive brands and products and will be able to buy high-quality fashion items.
  • The apartments near St. Stephen’s Cathedral are in a privileged location to move around Vienna. Not only will you be in the heart of the historic centre of the city, but you will have easy access to four different metro lines – the U-Bahn is the preferred means of transportation for tourists in Vienna because it communicates most of the city and it is fast and convenient, but you can also take the tram, which can be very useful depending on the area. But around St. Stephen’s Cathedral you will have enough with your own feet (you are at walking distance from many other important monuments, such as the Vienna State Opera or the Hofburg Palace) or with the U-Bahn. In Stephansplatz you have access to lines U3 and U1. U1 goes straight to Karlplatz, which isn’t fat by foot either (you just have to walk down Karntnerstrasse), where you can also get lines U2 and U4.
    There is a fun fact about the U-Bahn of Vienna regarding the line U1, one of the lines that you can access from Stephansplatz. There is a sort of unpleasant smell in that line and some legends have been circulating about it. The truth is less poetic, though: they use a chemical component to prevent St. Stephen’s Cathedral from sinking into the sandy ground, which causes the smell on warm days (there is a reaction in the form of butyric acid).
  • There are so many things to do around St. Stephen’s Cathedral that you may even feel a little bit overwhelmed! First of all, you can visit the beautiful cathedral itself, since it is impressive also inside. There are different ticket combinations (entering just the cathedral is free) and you can choose the one most convenient to you – depending on how much time you have or how much of it you want to dedicate to it. You can just visit the cathedral, or visit also the catacombs, the Southern Tower or the Pummerin Bell.
    Once you’ve visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral, time for your next move! The wisest one is probably doing a walking tour around the city. Guided tours are always a good choice to first get in touch with a city, but in Vienna you have an extra reason: its deeply interesting history and imperial past. There’s so much to learn about it, and no one better than a tour guide to explain it to you. Stephanplatz is a meeting point for some free walking tours.
    After that, you can also visit Mozarthaus Vienna, which was Mozart’s residence in the city and is right next to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. To the opposite side you will find the Hofburg Palace, and to the South, Karlskirche and the Naschmarkt. The area is also full of museums and little art galleries.
  • There are many good restaurants around the apartments near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, such as the Café Bar Aragall, the Figlmuller and the famous Zum Weissen Rauchfangkehrer, where you will be able to enjoy Austrian cuisine as well as some other dishes inspired in German and Central European cuisine.
    If you’re travelling with children or need some more international food, you will find the Hard Rock Café up Rotenturmstrasse, and you can have some Italian food at the Vapiano in Herengasse. If you turn out not to be a fan of Viennese cuisine but still want to enjoy good meals in high-quality restaurants, there are some other fine Italian restaurants in the area, such as the Osteria Pronto da Salvo or the Cantinetta Antinori.
  • If you stay near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, make sure to check the agenda of the Vienna State Opera, since there may be some performances and operas there that may interest you – people tend to think that opera is expensive, and it usually is, but there are well-priced tickets in the Vienna State Opera. Maybe the visibility won’t be the best possible, but it is a great opportunity to do something different and see if you like opera!
    There are plenty of bars and pubs in the area, though, so you can have some more average but great fun there. A good option is the Loos American Bar, a charming place that you will surely remember thanks to its unique marble decorations. Nearby you will find a jazz club that is also good fun, the Porgy & Bess.
 
 

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