The Stephansdom, or St Stephen's Cathedral, is a Gothic cathedral in the center of Vienna.


A 13th century Romanesque church once stood on the site. All that remains of this church are the entrance, known as the Giant's Doorway, and two towers known as the Heathen Towers. These structures are believed to have once been part of a heathen shrine.


The cathedral's Gothic nave, side chapels and choir were added in the 14th and 15th centuries,


Some of the outbuildings were added during the Baroque period.


A relief showing scenes from the life of St Paul can be found above Singers Gate, once an entrance for male visitors.


The Stephansdom has a Gothic Tower which is a well-known symbol of Vienna. The tower is 450 feet (137 meters) high. Visitors to the Cathedral can climb stairs inside the tower until they reach a viewing platform; from there, they can get a magnificent view of Austria's capital.


On the roof of the Cathedral, there are almost 250,000 glazed tiles. The roof had to be restored after the Stephansdom was set ablaze in 1945, during World War II.


The Pummerin, the bell hanging from the North Tower, was built from abandoned cannons that were melted down after the Turks left Vienna in 1683. The fire of 1945 caused the bell to crash through the roof; the remains of the old bell were used to cast a new, larger bill.


The "O5" carved on the front of the Cathedral was a symbol of the Austrian resistance movement.


Within the Stephansdom are many great works of art.


These include the Weiner Neustader Altar, which was commissioned by Emperor Friedrich III in 1447. This altar has painted panels that open out. Inside, there are carvings of scenes from the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary.


The main altar has an altarpiece by Tobias Pock depicting the martyrdom of St Stephen.


Pilgrim's Pulpit, a Gothic pulpit built by Anton Pilgrim, shows Pilgrim himself looking up at the Four Fathers of the Church.


Lizards on the pulpits railings symbolize light, while toads which symbolize darkness. Dogs above them take on the role of protector.


The Cathedral also has a portrait of Pilgrim holding a compass and a square.


Legend says that the beard on the statue of Christ above the altar is made of human hair that is still growing.


A 16th century canopy covers an icon to Madonna that was built in 1697.


The entrails of some of the Habsburgs are stored in a vault underneath the main altar.


Friedrich III's 15th century red marble tomb has a lid with a portrait of the emperor.


Prince Eugene's grave is inside Tirna Chapel.


Visitors can take guided tours of the catacombs underneath the Cathedral.