Construction of St. Stephen's Cathedral began in the 12th century, and it would later become one of the most important Gothic buildings in Austria. The structure has four towers, the tallest of which stands at 136.44 meters and offers an amazing view of the city. There is a famous bell in the north tower called the Pummerin, the second largest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe.
There are colorful tiles covering the roof of the cathedral, placed there to create the Royal and Imperial double-headed eagle and the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. The inside of the cathedral was changed multiple times throughout the centuries until the Baroque period. St. Stephen's Cathedral is filled with countless valuables, including altars, side chapels, and a wide variety of different treasures. The cathedral also serves as the final resting places for many important figures, including Emperor Friedrich III, who was buried in an impressive marble sarcophagus.
The South Tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral was an intense 65-year project, and in the past was used as a fire warden's station and observation point for the defense of the then-walled city. It is no simple task to climb the 343 steps of the tight spiral staircase leading up to the top of the South Tower. But the reward of braving the stairs is worth it! At the top, you will find the watchman's lookout, standing at 246 feet above street level, the highest point in Vienna’s inner city skyline, providing the most sensational view of Vienna's Old Town.
The Stephansplatz (Stephen's Square) is a square in the center of Vienna, named after its most prominent structure, the St. Stephen's Cathedral. This is a great area to take a shopping trip, or you can enjoy the many fantastic cafes and restaurants, such as Demel, Zacher Café and Café Mozart.