Previously, we had posted on a visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral here in Vienna. There is so much to this church that one visit posting can not do it justice. Therefore, a return trip to the Cathedral was warranted.
St. Stephen's Cathedral, the mother church for the archdiocese of Vienna, located within the center of the city, is easily the most important and recognizable landmark. Built on an ancient Roman cemetery (an excavation in 2000 uncovered graves over 8 feet beneath the main floor and dating back to the fourth century), it has seen many important events in the history of the Hapsburgs and of Austria; such as the funeral of composer Antonio Vivaldi in 1741 and the naming of Mozart as adjunct music director just before his death. Much of the structure was destroyed in a great fire during 1258. A much larger structure was later rebuilt on the same site. Each year on the anniversary of this second consecration of the cathedral, the famous Pummerin bell is rung for three minutes. Oriented towards the sunrise, this limestone structure has accumulated soot and air pollution over the years, giving it a black appearance. The South tower houses an apartment for a watchman who looks out for fires anywhere within the city and sounds the bells in alarm.