Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vienna: Stephansdom

I went to Vienna, Austria last week for a technical conference. Despite very limited amount of time outside of conference schedule, I still got a chance to see, taste and listen to what Vienna offers.

Vienna Historic City Center is very close to Hilton hotel where I stayed.  The most eminent architecture in city center is Stephansdom, or St. Stephen's Cathedral. Due to its closeness to my hotel, I visited there multiple times, during day and at night; it is almost always crowded.

Stephansdom  - outside
Stephansdom - inside
It was evident that Stephansdom was damaged by fire by burn marks on one side wall of the church. The fire damage occurred in 1945. The main tower was in restoration when I visited - one can tell by looking at the first picture, there was a white net shielding one side of the main tower.

The inside was intentionally not well lit when it is not in service. Decorating lights make the side walls of the main section quite colorful.

Tourists in the Street
Stephansdom is a very popular tourist attraction. In addition to the church, there are other activities around the church. The first time I went there, there was a women's choir singing on a stage, Steffl Kirtag. Many people were having meal in the open air while listening to the music. A side street at the church is also main station for horse drawn carriages.

The afternoon of my last day at Vienna, I went to the Stephansdom one more time. It was mainly to accompany an acquaintance Emily to the church to take some pictures for her since she did not bring a camera. When we got there, I noticed that there was unusually amount of people outside the church. Many people just standing there seemingly waiting for something to happen. It turned out that there would be a stunt performance - a man would walk along a line connecting the main tower and a smaller tower.

We witnessed the guy in green shirt walked on the slack line from the main tower to the top of a smaller tower and back. It was quite an excitement.

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