History of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria - Encircle Photos

3 History of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria

The history of St. Stephen’s Cathedral reflects the history of Wien. The site was a burial ground for Romans two millenniums ago. Construction of the first St. Stephan’s Church began in 1137. The second occurred in the early 13th century. Sections of that Romanesque structure are still standing, most notably the front door (called Riesentor meaning Giant’s Door). An enormous fire occurred in 1258. This citywide tragedy prompted considerable restoration of the Catholic church. The most significant expansion transpired over two hundred years, from 1304 to 1511. An example of the project’s complexity was the North Tower. It took 65 years to build (1368 – 1433). Stephansdom suffered other adversities that also befell Vienna. These included the bubonic plague in 1679, the Siege of Vienna by Napoleon in 1809 and war damage in 1945. Every crisis was met with renewal of the beloved St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna. Finally, world-famous composers attended Stephansdom including Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

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Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria

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