Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our World - St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

When in Vienna, it will be hard to miss the St. Stephen's Cathedral which seems to dominate the skyline in all directions and can be seen peeking over the old town square from miles away. Also known as Stephansdom in German, it is one of the best illustration of late Austrian Gothic. It stands on the ruins of two earlier churches and and further enlarged over the course of several centuries from a typical Romanesque rectangular shape to a cathedral with a three-nave choir, sporting Gothic elements on the facade under the reign of Rudolf IV.

I also discovered that the cathedral has survived two Turkish sieges, religious wars, French bombs in the course of the Napoleonic wars and World War I without too serious damage. It was further hit by bombs at the later stages of World War two and repaired with the financial aid of all the provinces of Austria.

The cathedral is enormous, ornately designed and you definitely need a wide-angle lens to capture the entirety of the landscape. Although I was unable to fit everything into the shot, I like the way this photo turned out.

We spent some time wandering around the area, paying attention to the details of this exquisite place and it was always a thrill to see some horse drawn carriages on the streets. They are a common sight especially for tourists in the heart of Vienna due to its narrow, old time streets.

Here is a closer view of the north steeple of the cathedral. It houses the big Pummerin bell and a lookout terrace. We didn't manage to go up due to lack of time but I bet it offers magnificent views of the surrounding historic streets.

Standing guard near the entrance is the impressive monument of St John of Capistrano.

Aside from the beauty of the medieval architecture, this one in particular caught my attention. I was very amused by the scene above. It depicts a figure of Christ affectionately known to the Viennese as "Christ with a toothache" because of its agonized expression.

As we entered the building, I see numerous altars, gothic sculptures, icons and chapels peering out of the many corners within the imposing cathedral.

Here is one of the 18 impressive altars. I wish I remembered more in detail about this, but there was way too much to be taking in all at once just being there.

This is Pilgrams pulpit, peering out a half-open window.

If you look closely, you'll notice the handrail of the stairway beautifully decorated by interesting symbols: lizards and toads in front of each other, symbolizing the fight of light against darkness.

Equally majestic is the ornate carvings on pillars which I think adds greatly to the exceptional decor.

If you like ancient architecture, the grandeur of the edifice is really going to amaze you, not to mention that you will be taken aback by the impressive artworks which adorn the cathedral.


  1. Wow! This cathedral is so beautiful! The intricate carvings are amazing!!

  2. I like the lizard and toads carvings : )

  3. I was just in Vienna last month, and saw this amazing cathedral -- from the outside only. Thanks to your great pics, I now see what I missed on the inside.

  4. Wonderful photo travelogue ~ thanks ~ excellent ~ ~ Carol (A Creative Harbor)

  5. The cathedral is beautiful. The carving and detail is amazing. Thanks for the wonderful tour. Beautiful photos.

  6. Your architectural photos, both outside and inside, show the majesty of St Stephen's. I'm in awe that the cathedral evolved over several centuries.

  7. What an incredible cathedral St. Stephens is! And your captures are superb! How wonderful that it has survived so much! Thank you for sharing the history and the beauty!

  8. many wows!!!

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
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  9. Wow - so gorgeous, ornate and majestic. Fab pics.

  10. What a beautiful city. That cathedral really is awesome.

  11. You have very good shots, both inside and outside. The Cathedral is one of the landmark of Vienna and all the tourists are attracted here.

  12. It's really great architecture. I like it.

  13. Weird and wonderful. Can't say it's pretty, but the whole effect is amazing.

  14. So stunning. Can't stop dreaming of being here and photographing this place.

    Happy weekend.

  15. It is indeed gorgeous and I admire the intricate carvings. Such a beautiful place! I could spend hours admiring and taking photos in Vienna.

  16. Yohoooooooo, I'm back LR! Ha ha ha ha ha! :)

  17. Great pics all around, love the details u captured. Thanks for sharing sweetie! :)

  18. I wanna go to Vienna and snap some awesome pics too!

  19. Still busy with your home renovation? Miss your posts and not seeing you on Photohunt lately.

  20. Massive structure with a lot of architectural details. I can understand your situation of being unable to grasp everything in a short span of time.

    wonderful captures - i like the one where you are in the midst of everything capturing the symmetric view of the interior.

  21. Wow, what amazing architecture inside and out. I am glad it survived all these years of turbulence so we can still enjoy it today.

  22. What a great great pictures you had here! :D

  23. Wow, this is just exquisite and I especially like the tiles on the roof in your first photo. You've made me realise that I definitely need to visit Vienna!

  24. Really awesome pics and this cathedral looks huge!

  25. Oh me too, love seeing horse carriages moving down the street when visiting abroad. Can you imagine if we have horse carriages here in M'sia? He he.....