Photo By Peter Watts
Stephansplatz
 

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Stephansplatz - FURTHER INFORMATION

Stephansplatz - Vienna visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Stephansplatz' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Wien.

Stephansplatz is at the geographical centre of both the Innere Stadt and Vienna. It is so named after the Stephansdom, (St. Stephan's Cathedral), the Gothic Cathedral which soars from the middle of the square. In the 12C the square stood outside the city walls and until 1732 it was a graveyard. One of the notable buildings on the entrance to Stephansplatz is the Haas Haus, which stands starkly at odds with the rest of the square in design.

Stephansdom
Stephansdom is by far the dominant feature of Stephansplatz. The Gothic cathedral is the tallest building in the Innere Stadt of Vienna and a prominent skyline feature. The first church was built here in the 12C, the current structure dates from 1304 when a Gothic building was erected around the earlier Romanesque structure which was subsequently dismantled and removed from the interior of the larger church.

There are other panoramic images taken from inside Stephansdom showing the High Altar, the Nave and Choir Stalls, the Gothic Pulpit and the Wiener Neustädter Altar.

Stephansdom Roof
One of the most notable things about Stephansdom is the patterned and tiled roof. This is 110m long and covered in 230,000 glazed tiles. The original 15C roof, said to be modeled on a Saracen carpet, was destroyed by fire at the end of WWII. It was replaced in 1950. On the south side within the pattern is the double-headed Imperial Eagle, and on the north emblems of the City of Vienna. The roof is so steep that snow never settles on it.

Stephansdom Hochturm
The Hochturm is the tall tower attached to the south side of Stephansdom. It is locally known as the Steffl (Little Stephan). This tower was built between 1368 to 1433, taking 65 years to complete. Being the high point of Vienna it was often used as a lookout and command post during times of conflict. 343 steps ascend the Steffl to an interior viewing platform (with fairly narrow windows) near the top.

Stephansdom Main Entrance
The main entrance to Stephansdom is through the Riesentor (Giant's Gate). This dates from the 12C structure that originally stood here and is so called after a mastodon bone that used to hang over the entrance. The Riesentor is flanked by two hexagonal Romanesque towers known as the Heidentrme which are decorated with crockets. They used to house bells, but these were destroyed in the fire of WWII.

Stock-im-Eisen-Platz
This name refers to the area between Stephansplatz and Graben was called Stock-im-Eisen-Platz. The name literally means "stick-in-iron" from a 16C piece of a larch tree that is studded with nails. According to tradition, apprentice locksmiths and blacksmiths would hammer a nail into the tree for luck. A part of the tree is encased in protective glass on one corner of the Equitable Palace. Stock-im-Eisen-Platz is a name that is rarely used nowadays.

A short way back down Graben are the Pestsäule (Plague Column) and Peterskirche .


Transport
U-Bhan: Stephansplatz (U1, U3)
Bus / Tram: 1A, 2A, 3A

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