Cathedrals in Austria

St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral h ...
Founded: 1359 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg's Cathedral is probably the city's most significant piece of church architecture and its ecclesiastical center. With its magnificent façade and mighty dome it represents the most impressive early Baroque edifice north of the Alps. The cathedral origin is closely connected to the ecclesiastical principality's demeanour and growth. Destroyed by fire and rebuilt, enlarged and expanded, it bears witness to the powe ...
Founded: 774 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Innsbruck Cathedral

Innsbruck Cathedral was built between 1717 and 1724 on the site of a 12th-century Romanesque church. The interior is enclosed by three domed vaults spanning the nave, and a dome with lantern above the chancel. With its lavish Baroque interior, executed in part by the Asam brothers, St. James is considered among the most important Baroque buildings in the Tyrol. Innsbruck Cathedral is notable for two important treasures. ...
Founded: 1717-1724 | Location: Innsbruck, Austria

Linz Old Cathedral

The Old Cathedral (Alter Dom) in Linz was built by Jesuits between 1669 and 1683 in Baroque style. From 1785 to 1909 it served as cathedral of the Diocese of Linz. The church was erected near the former Jesuits" College at the south end of the Hauptplatz. The church was originally called the Church of Ignatius and was dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order. The Jesuit Order was dissolve ...
Founded: 1669-1683 | Location: Linz, Austria

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in located in the historic Greek neighborhood of Vienna"s Innere Stadt. Greek Orthodox churches have existed near this site since 1787, as a result of the 1781 Patent of Toleration issued by Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. The architect of the 1787 building was Peter Mollner. The current building is a Byzantine Revival re-design of the Mollner building by Danish-Austrian neo-classic ...
Founded: 1858 | Location: Vienna, Austria

Graz Cathedral

Graz Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Giles. It is the seat of the bishop of the Steiermark diocese. The church was built in 1438-1462 by Friederick III in the Gothic architecture. It was refurbished in Baroque style in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The exterior of the cathedral looks very sober today. In the Gothic period, however, the façades were covered with paintings. One fresco has been preserved - the so ...
Founded: 1438-1462 | Location: Graz, Austria

Linz New Cathedral

The New Cathedral (Mariä-Empfängnis-Dom) construction plans were started in 1855 by Bishop Franz-Josef Rudigier. The first stone was laid in 1862. In 1924 Bishop Johannes Maria Gföllner consecrated the finished building as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The plans, drawn by the master builder of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Vincenz Statz, were made in the French high Gothic style. With 20,000 seats, the cat ...
Founded: 1862-1924 | Location: Linz, Austria

St. Nicholas Cathedral

The St. Nicholas Cathedral or just Feldkirch Cathedral is part of the old town and is the largest Gothic church in Vorarlberg. With the founding of the diocese of Feldkirch parish church it became a cathedral on 12 August of 1968. In the city fires of 1348, 1396 and 1460 the building of the original church was badly affected. In 1478 the church built under the plans of architect Hans Sturm added a new late Gothic nave eq ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Feldkirch, Austria

Sankt Pölten Cathedral

Sankt Pölten Cathedral has been the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Sankt Pölten since 1785, having previously been the church of the Augustinian Abbey of St. Pölten, dissolved in 1784. The building, despite being a well-preserved late Romanesque structure, is Baroque in appearance. The use of the site for religious buildings is believed to date from around 790, when a Benedictine monastery was established here, to w ...
Founded: 1621 | Location: Sankt Pölten, Austria

Eisenstadt Cathedral

St. Martin"s Cathedral in Eisenstadt was first mentioned 1264. From this chapel there are still remains of a Romanesque foundation in the area of the present choir. In the 13th century the chapel was extended by the addition of an early Gothic choir. In the 14th century a chapel for lay people was added. In 1460 the church was rebuilt under the town captain Johann Siebenhirter as a fortified or defensive church, as a ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eisenstadt, Austria

Gurk Cathedral

Gurk Cathedral is a Romanesque pillar basilica and former cathedral built from 1140 to 1200. It is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Austria. With its consecration in 1174, the grave of Saint Hemma of Gurk was relocated there from former Gurk Abbey, a Benedictine nunnery she had founded in 1043 and which was dissolved by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg in 1070/72, in order to fund the newly established Gur ...
Founded: 1140-1200 | Location: Gurk, Austria

Wiener Neustadt Cathedral

St. George"s Cathedral, also called Wiener Neustadt Cathedral is the cathedral of the military ordinariate and a minor basilica. The church, begun in 1440 on the west side of the castle of Wiener Neustadt, was commissioned from the architect Peter von Pusica by Frederick IV, Duke of Austria. At the end of the work the church was dedicated to St. Mary and consecrated in 1460. In 1479 the Order of the Knights of St. Ge ...
Founded: 1440 | Location: Wiener Neustadt, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.