Walking around Stephansdom early in the morning certainly has its merits. With still nearly no one around, it gives the perfect opportunity to watch this place coming to life. There are the horses and their fiacres, the horsedrivers trying to make their horses look at their best and cleaning the stones in the street with water whenever one of the horses has got rid of his excretions. It is only later that Mozart-lookalikes start to appear and lure visitors to a concert inside the Stephansdom, or a tour of the cathedral, as more and more people flock to this religious heart of the Austrian capital city.
I was also able to have a quiet look at the structure from all sides. Especially the famed roof makes for a sight in itself. With thousands of coloured tiles, it depicts the Austrian eagle and figurines in white, green, black and yellow. Since the cathedral is situated on a rather small square surrounded by buildings, standing right under the tallest tower, the Steffl, makes you realize how high it actually is. During my second visit to the Stephansdom, the façade was unfortunately under repair, so I concentrated more on the inside of the cathedral which was very colourful thanks to the coloured strips hanging down the tall windows. This also meant that it was no longer possible to see the beautiful stained glass windows behind the coloured banners. As it was very full in the cathedral, and I was tight on time, I decided to only briefly walk through the Stephansdom, and then walk around it once again to also enjoy the views of sculptures around the tall building.
I also walked up the 343 dazzling and dizzying steps to the platform from which a good view can be had from the city and surroundings. People below on the square look like mice crawling around a piece of cheese. Also, the roof can be better observed, and there is a tile on display which gives you an idea of the size of those lying on top of the roof. The Stephansdom is so much part of Vienna, that when it was badly damaged in 1945, it took just three years of national effort to restore it to its former glory. Its location means that whoever stands below the cathedral in one of the narrow streets surrounding it, must feel in awe for this impressive structure.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Stephansdom (Austria). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Stephansdom. Read more about this site.