The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna, Austria. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna’s cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world. Before the 20th century, a row of houses separated Stephansplatz from Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, but since their destruction, the name Stephansplatz started to be used for the wider area covering both.
To the west and south, respectively, run the exclusive shopping streets Graben (literally «ditch») and Kärntner Straße («Kärnten» is the German for Carinthia). Opposite the Stephansdom is the Haas-Haus, a piece of striking modern architecture by Hans Hollein.
Although public opinion was originally skeptical about the combination of the mediaeval cathedral and the glass and steel building, it is now considered an example of how old and new architecture can mix harmoniously.
Stock im Eisen
The Stock-im-Eisen («staff in iron») is located at the corner of Kärntner Straße and Graben in a niche on the corner of the Palais Equitable.
It is a section of tree trunk into which hundreds of nails have been hammered since the Middle Ages, and which is ringed by an iron band closed by a large padlock. The earliest written mention of it dates to 1533 and it is the subject of legends about the Devil.
The U-Bahn station at Stephansplatz is one of the busiest in the city, and is the only junction between the U1 and U3 underground lines. It is also the nearest U-Bahn station to many of the tourist attractions in the city centre.
In 1973, during excavation works for the U-Bahn station, a mediaeval chapel was discovered 12 metres under current ground level. It was built around 1250 as a capella subterranea in the Magdalenenkapelle (the outline of which is shown on the pavement of the Stephansplatz).
It is possible that it was originally intended as a chapel for burials, but at least by the 14th century had become a crypt for a mercantile family… more from Wikipedia.org
Stephansplatz: Visitor’s reviews
- This is most crowded part of Vienna. Visitors of the Cathedral, people coming out of the U-Bahn station (2 lines), the start of the Graben and the Kärntnerstrasse with all their shops. There are often events attracting even more people. On the north side of the cathedral stand the fiacre. A good thing is that an effort was made to reduce the odor of the horse urine. Cars are not allowed except on the Schulerstrasse. The architecture of the surrounding buildings is a mix of all styles from old to very modern.
- Stephansplatz is a major centerpoint of Vienna. With it’s own metro stop, the mighty Stephandom church, Peterskirche a 2 minute walk away, the Mozarthaus a 2 minute walk the other, with many shops and restaurants all around, booths around the church and milling with hundreds of people day and night, this place was alway abuzz.
- Dominated by the bulky, Gothic Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), Stephansplatz is Vienna’s liveliest and most centralized square. The square and the many arteries feeding into it all heave with tourists and accompanying street performers, touts, and overpriced eateries. Bustle aside, this is one of the better spots in Vienna to plop down with a drink in hand and people watch. And some of the street performers are extremely talented musicians who are well worth listening to for at least a few minutes (and tipping).
- Cozy, square in the Centre of the city. Around vintage fine buildings, neighbouringwith modern buildings. Lots of tourists, lots of entertainment, cafes, shops, as in any large European city. The dominant of the square is the Cathedral of St. Stephen, a beautiful, refined and at the same time, the grandiose construction.
- Very nice all decorated before Christmas, beautiful tree, beautiful illumination. There is something to see, a visit, there are places where you can spend your time. On the square in front of the Cathedral a small Christmas market, with the obligatory set all kinds of punch and mulled wine. Cold in the evening very nice touch hot drink.
- First walk around Vienna begin here. Continue on all the items on the program. Try to dance the waltz at the square at night.
- The center of life here at the weekend, and mimes and street musicians and Christmas fair with hot sausages, punch and pumpkin soup filed directly in loaves of bread. The crowd šataûŝegosâ idly Luda, cruising from one gadget to another. Think central figure square, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, in the course of its history has seen thisspectacle of thousands of times, changing only the people. Right behind the Cathedral in the square faces Kucera with wagons on inhumane prices 55 euros for 20minutes shaking the pavement, vehicle seats four and is a better burden sharing atall). Drive it, just wait and watch people, this place offers.