11:40:00 AM Unknown 4 Comments

I've been wanting to visit Passau for sometime now.  It first came on my radar last year when the River Donau swelled, flooding the old town with 20 feet of water.  Passau has the blessing and curse of being situated at the confluence of 3 rivers making it a hot spot on the trade route during Medieval times, a popular destination with river cruises today and unfortunately, susceptible to flooding.  One year later you can still see the water line on some buildings that have not yet been repaired.  

This is the view that greeted us as we entered the city.  The two prominent buildings are St. Paul's Church (the pink one) and St. Stephan's Cathedral (with green onion domes).  How can anyone resist those pastel buildings? There are several parking lots on the edge of town, so parking was a breeze. 
The Veste Oberhaus (above) was once the castle of the prince-bishops.  If I understand my Catholic history/terminology correct, a prince-bishop is an ecclesiastical calling with secular duites. Prince-Bishops often wielded a lot of power because not only did they hold ecclesiastical authority over the church, but also most of the civic duties of running the town.  No such thing as separation of church and state in 13th century!

Passau has been inhabited since Roman times.  Today the city facade looks Baroque, but it's shape, passageways and narrow alleys were formed during the medieval times.
Notice the brown water line on the tower?  That tower, built in 1250 and the walls the girls are standing on are remains of the Passau's Gothic city.   

Passau has two beautiful churches, this one is St. Stephan's Cathedral.  At one time Passau was the largest dioces outside of Rome, thus necessitating a marvelous church.  This one was built in 1688, but a church has stood on this location since 730.  St. Stephan's boasts the largest organ outside of the United States and the biggest cathedral organ in the world with 17, 774 pipes.

The second church worth nothing is St. Paul's built between 1663-1678.  According to the plaque out front, a church has been on this spot since 1050.  St. Paul's is unique for it's black alters.  We were treated to an organ concert when we visited.  I swear, there are few things more beautiful than organ music in an airy church.  

I love the multi-colored glass panes in this door.
With outdoor shopping, plenty of restaurant options, street entertainment and even a couple kid-friendly parks for picnicking, Passau is a pleasure to explore and only about 2 hours northeast of Munich.


  1. Gorgeous! I would love to do this some day!

  2. All wonderful shots of Europe ~ love the door ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Oh this brings back such great memories when we were in Passau on. Riverboat cruise!

  4. This city is stunning (as are your traveling companions). I love the churches and cathedrals of Europe. One gorgeous place after another.~May