The Viennese are not the sort to sit back on their ancestors’ architectural laurels.
We visited the massive St. Stephen’s Cathedral that dates back to the first half of the 1100’s, first laying our eyes on it in daytime. It’s an impressive sight with its cavernous Romanesque and Gothic design. That beauty was amplified when we happened across it at night and discovered virtual paint cans of colour splashed on the building, both inside and out, and by “virtual,” I mean not real paint cans, but a light show that casts the entire edifice in a rainbow. Adding to our amazement, the pipe organ blasted into this cornucopia of colour. Austria. You must love it. You have to. Awesome Austria.
Just to prove that Europeans don’t just build on North American aboriginal graves, they did the same here. The site was originally believed to be an open field, but in 2000, plumbing problems led to some excavations that yielded graves. Yes, you discover the most interesting things in the aftermath of plumbing foibles.
And for those interested in a little Bible history, St. Stephen was an early Christian evangelist preaching to the Jews, who was summarily martyred by stoning. That was savage indeed, and the weirdest thing is that this ancient form of execution continues even to this day.
This is not to pick on the Jews who in St. Stephen’s case were the ones doing the stoning, because it has been practised nearly worldwide as a ‘legitimized’ death penalty. Today it is prescribed in Islam’s Sharia law and practised in Islamic states. A recent case came to global attention where a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to die in this manner for being raped by her brother. Yes, that’s how backward Islam is towards women. Her sentence was altered, but reportedly other stonings continue.
North America appears to be the only continent free of execution-by-stoning. I could be wrong about this so if any archeological/anthropological/historical experts care to correct me, I will add their comments in here.
Just because the practice is barbaric does not mean it doesn’t have rules. Everything has rules, and so it is with stoning that even the size of the stones must conform to standard, lest a single large stone kill the victim too quickly.
Surprisingly, some tried to introduced Sharia law in family courts in Canada. Read here to learn more about it. In the spirit of multiculturalism, some people tried to take a non-judgmental aloof attitude toward this campaign, but frankly, any culture that tries to import a system of law that in some places includes stoning rape victims is just stark-raving mad and I for one would be happy to deport anyone trying to import it to my homeland. I’m just saying.
But that is another thing. Here are some more photos of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an ancient Christian monument that brings to mind a modern Islamic practice. Who would have guessed it?