St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephan’s Cathedral, built on Stephansplatz, one of the most important squares in the center of Vienna, served as a refuge for the people of Vienna during the Ottoman Empire’s siege of Vienna during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
Built in the 12th century, the cathedral has of course seen many wars. In World War 2, the cathedral was badly damaged and had a 20,000-ton Pummerin Bell, known as the Turkish Bell, which was built using iron materials such as cannons, rifles and swords left over from the Ottoman Empire. During the war, it fell to the ground and shattered. This bell was rebuilt, but it is said that there is another bell in the tower where the Turkish Bell is now located. You can go up to the tower of the church for a fee, but you will have to walk up 343 steps. You need to be in good condition to make it all the way up.
There is no one who has not heard about the Ottomans’ relations with Vienna. The Viennese, who wanted to be prepared for Ottoman attacks, used to put a guard at the head of this bell and have it ring in case of an invasion. Everything is normal so far, but they say that after the Ottoman defeat, the obligation to have a guard here ended.
St. Stephan’s Cathedral is the heart of Vienna. For example, it is the residence of the Archbishop of Vienna. This cathedral has a very important religious significance. Entrance to cathedrals is free of charge unless you have extraordinary conditions. Entrance here is free. Be sure to go inside and see the colorful interior. When we entered, there was a religious event going on inside.
The cathedral, which is 107 meters high at its highest point, has a near-black layer as a result of air pollution and drought over the centuries. With the restorations, some of the structure has been restored to its original color. Although it is similar to most of the Gothic cathedrals we have seen, it has a roof that stands out from the others. The roof is very colorful and decorated with different motifs. The motif on the facade on the south side of the building is the double-headed eagle symbolizing the Habsburg dynasty’s empire ruled from Vienna. On the north side, the coat of arms representing the city of Vienna and Austria. The roof can also be seen from below, but it is best seen from the tower. From the tower you can take some nice photos with the view of Vienna.
In front of the cathedral you will see a marble statue. It is a sculpture depicting the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in Vienna after the Ottoman Empire failed in two siege attempts. It depicts the Viennese soldiers trampling the Ottoman soldiers. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a watchtower of Ottoman importance, is a must-see during your visit to Vienna.