St. Stephen’s has shared its destiny with the town of Vienna for over 8 centuries as its architectural history stretches from the 1st half of the 12th century right down to the present day. St. Stephen’s is not only the most important Gothic building in Austria but also the religious heart of the country. The perfectly formed south tower, lovingly called “Steffel” by the locals, is the third highest steeple in the world at 136.5 m and the landmark of Vienna. Work on the north tower was halted in 1523 due to a lack of money and it was never completed. This is where the Pummerin hangs, one of the largest bells in the world, 3 m high, 10 m in circumference and weighing 21 tonnes. At the end of the Second World War the cathedral caught fire during an air raid and the Pummerin fell to the ground. A new bell was cast out of the fragments and damage to this distinguished architectural monument was repaired within a short space of time.