The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephens is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of its Archbishop. Construction began in 1137 following the Treaty of Mautern and was "completed" in 1160 (although "completed" may not be the correct term as it was renovated and rebuilt a number of times over the centuries because of fires, earthquakes, and wars). The current Romanesque and Gothic design of the church was initiated by Duke Rudolph (1339-1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first of which was a simple parish church.
Dedicated to St. Stephen, patron saint of Vienna, the church is 351 feet long, 230 feet wide, and 448 feet tall (at its highest point, the South Tower). One of its most outstanding attributes is its ornately patterned roof with 230,000 richly colored glazed tiles. It's decoration mirrors the double-eagle Imperial Emblem of the South Tower on one side and the Hapsburg-Lorraine Coat of Arms on the other.