St Stephen’s Cathedral is still an unfinished work
Already as a child I loved legends and fairy tales and could listen for hours to my grandfather, he was the storyteller in the family, when he took me in these fairy worlds.
And in Vienna, there are many places that have their very own fairy tale, making many unexplainable meaningful.
Legends have grown up around St Stephen's Cathedral
So let us start today with one of the most famous buildings in Vienna, St. Stephen's Cathedral. What this one has to do with Viennese legends?.
Much, as two very well known legends have grown up around it (the second one follows next week). The one I will tell you today has left conspicuous traces.
St. Stephen's Cathedral is known throughout the world and if you have you not been there you should visit it at the next possibility.
Because then you will also notice that not all the towers are the same height, but the north tower is still an unfinished work, right in the city center.
And this is because of one man: Hans Puchsbaum.
Hans Puchsbaum - The builder & the devil
At that time when the cathedral was built he worked as a foreman at the construction. He was very able and skilfull and also the master-builder knew this.
Puchsbaum himself had fallen in love with the daughter of the master-builder. When he finally summoned up the courage to ask the father of the hand of his daughter Maria he attached one condition to it: finalise the north tower within one year.
Puchsbaum was desperate, this was a task for a man's life not for one year. At that moment the devil appeared and offered him a pact: he finalises the north tower. In return Puchsbaum obliges that he will not mention the name of God, of the Blessed Virgin Mary od any other saint.
With a heavy heart Puchsbaum agreed. Work was going on very fast with the devil doing it. One night (like many other befoe) Puchsbaum moved up to the north tower to watch the devil working. But this night he wasn't there. Instead Puchsbaum saw Maria standing at the scaffold. In his fear that she could fall down he shouted her name to warn her.
In this moment he heard a hellishly laughter from the devil, as it was him who with a trick disguised himself as Maria. He then grabbed Puchsbaum an threw him down the tower.
The north tower still remains unfinished.....
And next week we continue with legends from Vienna. Then I will tell you why if you have toothache you really should go to St Stephen's Cathedral.