The Stephansdom (Cathedral of Saint Stephen), in Vienna, Austria, is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archbishop, a beloved symbol of Vienna, and the site of many important events in Austria's national life.
The cathedral was first built as a parish church, in 1147, and rebuilt and enlarged over the centuries, with major new work concluding in 1511, although repair and restoration have continued from the beginning to the present day.
It was previously thought that the church had been built in an open field outside the city walls; but excavations for a long-awaited heating system during 2000 revealed graves that were carbon-dated to the fourth century, 8 feet (2.5 meters) below the surface. The 430 skeletons were then moved to the catacombs. Thousands of others must have been buried in the ancient cemetery of this neighbourhood, starting in Roman times; and this, instead of St. Ruprecht's Church, may be the oldest church site in Vienna.
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