Inside Stephansdom

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The Stephansdom (Cathedral of Saint Stephen) is one of the most significant Vienna’s monuments. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archbishop. As far as its interior is concerned, it is as monumental as church itself.

Total number of altars in the main church is 18, but there are some more in the various chapels. The most famous are the High Altar and the Neustädt Altar. The High Altar (on the picture) was built between 1641 – 1647 by Tobias Pock; during the first renovation of the cathedral in the baroque style. It was ordered by Philip Friedrich Graf Breuner, Vienna’s Bishop and the marble used for its construction came from Poland, Styria and Tyrol. The stoning of St. Stephen is framed by figures of Saints Leopold, Florian, Sebastian and Rochus (the patron saints of the surrounding areas). It is all surmounted with a statue of St. Mary looking up, to heaven, where Christ waits for Stephen, the first martyr. Wiener Neustädter Altar stands at the head of the north nave, right opposite the tomb of the Emperor Frederick III at the head of the south nave. Alter was ordered by Frederick III in 1447. However, it was sold to Stephansdom just in 1885. There are two triptychs at the altar, the higher being four times taller than the smaller one. When the four panels are closed, they display a drab painted scene involving 72 saints; when opened gilded wooden figures depicting events in the life of the Virgin Mary are shown.

To other remarkable parts of the interior belongs Maria Pócs (Maria Pötsch) Icon, the Byzantine style icon of St. Mary with the child Jesus, the stone pulpit made in late gothic sculpturing and of course number of chapels – St. Katherine’s, St. Barbara’s, St. Eligius’s, St. Bartholomew’s and St. Valentine’s.

One can find also some tombs there. Besides abovementioned tomb of the Emperor Frederick III, there is also the tomb of Prince Eugene of Savoy.

Under the cathedral, there are the catacombs. There are bones of 11 000 people there. Burials directly in the catacombs occurred from 1735, when the bubonic plague broke out, and it lasted until 1783.
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