The Stephansdom, Vienna's great cathedral, sits right at the city centre, towering over its immediate neighbours and dominating the skyline when seen from a distance from places like Schönbrunn. The pitch of its distinctive multi-coloured chevron roof is so steep that the pattern can be seen quite well from ground level. Construction of the present building was started in 1359, with the major work finished early in the 16th Century.

With the weather grey I decided on an inside day. Arriving at Stephansdom at 09:00 I found it heaving with visitors already. It's not possible to see much detail except by going on a tour, and I knew that the English tour was not until 15:45; there were many other tours in there also, presumably from package holidays, and I suppose I could have just tagged onto one – they probably wouldn't have noticed. So I did what I could with the very dark interior and its quite dark stonework: some shots of the early 16th century pulpit with its superb staircase, protected from prodding fingers by discrete glass panels, and shooting over the heads of the crowds down the nave.

Then outside and round to the South Tower, where I paid €3.50 to climb the 343 steps to the top – they go pretty much all the way in one go: round and round, up and up. Mostly good views, though there's glass on the north side, and at the time there was glass plus scaffolding on the south. Just a hint of brightness in the sky.

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