Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vienna - Stephanplatz

Date: 12th April 2014

Stephanplatz, a shopping square

Now let us see what is other attraction in Stephansplatz, a square that is named after its most prominent building, St Stephen Cathedral. Before the 20th century, there was a row of houses separated Stephansplatz from Stock-im-Eisen-Platz. After the houses was demolished to allow for other buildings to rise, the name Stephansplatz started to be used for the wider area covering both squares. To the west and south, respectively, run the exclusive shopping streets Graben (literally "ditch") and Karntner StraBe. 

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. 

Haas-Haus, modern architecture building

The other square, Stock-im-Eisen ("staff in iron") is located at the corner of Karntner Stra├če 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.

Harmoniously mix of Old and New architecture combination (the demolished houses turn into modern building). The green roof covering is the Palais Equitable

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. It was from here we get down from the metro to visit the Stephen Cathedral and to reach the square.

Anne wanted to go for window shopping in H&M :)

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.

To my west view...

To my south views...

I would personally conclude that the square is now becoming the busiest shopping area mainly dedicated for tourist like us. It was sad that we could not shop in this city, afraid of the heavy burden to carry them with us all the way to Paris, if not, I would have no trouble looking for 'WMF' shop in Munich city. Let us see some of the shops that we admired to go inside.

WMF's cutlery and other kitchen utensils

Local boutique, GIGI (#yellow is so my color)

Last but not least, is the 100 years "AIDA cafe since 1913" which is also located in Stephanplatz that I will separately write especially for my ladies to record our great times there....

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