St. Stephen’s Cathedral (more commonly known by its German title “Stephansdom”) is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna.
The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city’s most recognizable symbols.
The largest bell is officially named for St. Mary, but usually called Pummerin (“Boomer”) and hangs in the north tower.
Famous Wiener Neustädter Altar is composed of two triptychs, the upper being four times taller than the lower one. When the lower panels are opened, the Gothic grate of the former reliquary depot above the altar is revealed. On weekdays, the four panels are closed and display a drab painted scene involving 72 saints.