Regardless of your religious beliefs, cathedrals are always a piece of history worth visiting. Anyone can appreciate their architectural accomplishments and they are considered havens of peace. Whether you are a cathedral aficionado or a faith believer, this neo-gothic giant, known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception or the New Cathedral, deserves your stop.
The largest, not the tallest
Located in the Domplatz square, the Mariendom is the largest church in Austria, but not the tallest one, as it wasn't allowed to surpass Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna. The height was restricted to 134 meters, but the place can host up to 20,000 worshippers. It's still quite high, so if you want to get the best view of the city of Linz, we suggest you climb to the top of the tower.
A young soul
The Roman-Catholic cathedral stands out in the city by the Danube. If you compare it to other cathedrals in the world, the Mariendom is relatively new – it has only been standing for 150 years. The cathedral was initiated by Rudiger the Bishop of Linz in 1855. Later, it was designed by the Cologne-born cathedral builder Vinzenz Statz and finished by 1924. In addition to the monumental tower, the cathedral has 54 pillars and 17 altars, and an organ equipped with 5890 pipes. Witnessing a mass service with music from the choir is truly an unforgettable experience.
Marvelous glass windows
But the cathedral is mostly cherished for its 142 stained-glass windows. The most famous one is the Linz Window, depicting historical scenes from the city of Linz. As well, is the window displaying its Bishop founder. Windows that were destroyed during the Second World War have been replaced by modern art. To get the most out of the stained-glass windows, visit during a sunny day, as the sun rays project in the inside. For a more gothic-experience, visit in the evening when it's dark and gloomy.
Things to consider
Take a one-hour guided tour to witness the inner gallery of the church and learn more about its history. If you are visiting during Christmas, you will be able to witness one of the largest nativity displays, measuring about 12m length. In addition, the cathedral features a monument of Franz Jägerstätter. During WWII, Jägerstätter refused to vow loyalty to Hitler and was, therefore, sentenced to death. In 2007, the Catholic Church declared him a martyr and he was beatified.