Between tours we had some time to explore St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The current form of the cathedral dates to the mid-14th century, a combination of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. The first church on the site was consecrated in 1147. The Wikipedia article has detail on the cathedral’s ring of bells, which is still in use, although we didn’t hear it. I’ve been interested in church bells since reading Dorothy Sayers’ The Nine Tailors. The Wikipedia article has much interesting information about the cathedral.
In some towns, the Dom or the church is up on a hill (so people can take refuge in it when the river floods). I didn’t check the topo map for Vienna, but the Dom here is right downtown, in (of course) the Stephensplatz. In fact it’s right across the square from some of the most modern architecture you can imagine:
The bulgy glass edifice is Hans Hollein’s “Haas Haus.” Wikipedia doesn’t have much on it, and neither did any of the tourist sites I found when I Googled it; it’s just a building. It seems to have been built deliberately to reflect the Dom.
Notice the elaborate tile patterns on the Dom roof. You’ll see it again in Budapest, where it’s even gaudier, when I get that tour posted. I don’t know if that’s a Central European thing or what. None of the other cathedrals had patterned tile roofs. Notice also the three black gables with Gothic arches, on this side of the Dom below the tile roof. Those are not black because they’re in shadow. They’re black because they haven’t been cleaned yet, from seven hundred odd years of wood and coal smoke! That’s what the scaffolding is all about, next to them.