St. Stephens Cathedral or “Steffl” how the Viennese call the most famous sight and most beloved landmark of Austria. The roman church St. Stephan was sanctified in 1147 but was remodeled and enlarged through several centuries with Romanesque and baroque influences. The cathedral was burned in the last two weeks of world war two. However, the reopening just took seven years and made the cathedral a special symbol of the reconstruction. The “Pummerin” (Boomer Bell), which is the world-famous swinging bell was made of the material of an old bell in 1951 in St. Florian and installed into the north tower in 1957. Since then the Pummerin sounds only on special occasions such as high Catholic holidays, weddings, state funerals and at the beginning of the New Year.
St. Stephens cathedral can be visited Monday to Saturday from 6am to 10pm and Sunday and holidays from 7am to 10pm for no charge. If you would like to see the most amazing view over the city you have two options: either you take the elevator in the north tower to the Pummerin or you hike 334 stairs up to the 133-meter-high south tower. If you are interested, you can also visit the catacombs underneath the cathedral where you will find the urns of the Habsburg family as well as the red marble mausoleum of emperor Friedrich II.
By the way: did you know that the “Pummerin” is the largest and heaviest swinging bell with a weight of 21.383kg?