1. When you walk across the Stephansplatz, you are literally walking over dead bodies.
Beginning in Roman times, the area was a cemetery and over the centuries became the final resting place for thousands and thousands of Viennese. This ancient burial ground is probably the best and worst place to say Bloody Mary into the mirror three times.
2. The internal organs of many dead Habsburgs are stored in a special chamber of the catacombs.
In the Herzogsgruft you’ll find containers that hold hearts, intestines, and other nasty stuff from 72 members of Austria’s most famous family. Be warned – seeing an imperial stomach might give you a weak stomach!
3. The 30 burial chambers in the catacombs contain the remains of more than 10,000 people.
Burial within the city limits was outlawed in 1783. If that wasn’t the case can you imagine how many bodies would be down there now?
4. In the so-called Neuen Grüfte there are two levels where the dead bodies were simply stacked on top of each other.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to see skeletons layered from floor to ceiling, the catacombs of St. Stephen have got you covered.
5. “Scary tours” of the catacombs have existed for 200 years.
The oldest report of such a tour comes from the writer Frances Trollope, who visited the Stephansdom catacombs back in December 1836!