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Sky full of stones @ Stephansdom

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(We recommend our Secret Vienna tour: The Secrets of the Stephansdom)

On the occasion of the Lent that Catholics worldwide are celebrating right now, contemporary artist Peter Baldinger turned the vault of the St. Stephan Cathedral into an impressive Sky full of Stones. Altogether 1332 stones (which are made of paper) are attached to the ceiling at a height of 6,5 metres.  And we have read that if you multiply some of the dimensions of the Stephansdom you get the number 1332.

The artwork was installed at the beginning of Lent, the Ash Wednesday and it lasts for 40 days. The Lent serves in the Christian faith as preparation for Easter. The fasting during that time is practiced differently by Catholics and ranges from giving up meat or reducing the use of plastic or is practiced by giving to others.

The stones are lighted purple in Lent, golden at Easter and will be finally lit red until Pentecost. In addition, the artist created this year’s Lenten cloth for the altar, as it is tradition to hide it behind a giant curtain until Easter. This year’s cloth consists of over 600 small mirrored plates to catch any light and spread it in the whole cathedral.

The topic of the stones on the ceiling was no random choice: This refers to the patron of the cathedral, St. Stephan. He was stoned to death for his faith and is considered the first martyr of Christianity. Also, the Bible mentions the symbol of the stone repeatedly.

The art installation can be visited until the 10th of June and is not the only Secret the Stephansdom has to offer. Don’t miss our tour! (JE)