After a week of Danube cruise with A-ROSA Bella we have arrived safely in Passau. A shuttle bus of the A-ROSA had driven us and other guests from the Danube pier, which was about 45 minutes from Passau, to the main station Passau. Since our train only went back to Frankfurt in the afternoon, we still had enough time to take a closer look at Passau.
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Things to know about Passau
Passau is located directly on the border with Austria in the southeast of the Republic in the administrative district of Lower Bavaria and has about 50,000 inhabitants. Due to the high number of students compared to the population, Passau has one of the highest student densities in Germany with just under 24, i.e. one in four is a student here. Due to the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz and Passau is often referred to as the “Three River City“.
The Veste Oberhaus
At about half past ten we started at the main station on foot and walked along the Danube in the direction of the Veste Oberhaus. You can cross the Danube via the Prinzregent-Luitpold Bridge and you can already see the Veste, which towers high above the city on the other side. Unfortunately, the Ludwigsteig, the footpath at the end of the Luitpold Bridge, which leads up to the Veste, was closed due to severe weather damage. The alternative was then a not so nice way over the Ferdinand-Wagner-Straße, which leads directly behind the Veste. Here we also passed the Wasserburg Veste Niederhaus, which lies on the headland between Ilz and Danube and is connected to the Veste Oberhaus by its own defensive passage.
With the hot, sunny weather with a good 30 to 35 degrees, you are completely out of breath and sweaty when you arrive at the top. The Veste Oberhaus is almost 800 years old and is one of the largest preserved castle complexes in Europe. For most of its history it was the castle and residence of the princely bishop of Passau. Today, the castle grounds house the city museum, a painting gallery and other art collections. There is also a restaurant, an observation tower and a youth hostel.
From a viewing platform behind the restaurant you have a beautiful view of the old town of Passau, which is almost at your feet. In the background on the other side of the Inn is the mariahelp pilgrimage church with its Capuchin monastery, which is also very beautifully visible from a distance. On the grounds of the castle complex there is also an observation tower, from which you also have a great view of the surrounding area for just 1 euro entrance. From here you could also see very nicely why Passau bears the nickname “Three Rivers City”: Here the black Ilz, the blue Danube and the green Inn flow together.
The Old Town Hall of the city
Around noon, when the sun was at its highest, we made our way back to the old town. On the Danube side of the old town we have already seen the many Danube cruise ships and excursion ships waiting for the many tourists to show them the beauties along the Danube. We spent the next 1.5 hours looking at the sights in Passau’s Old Town.
The old town hall of the city stands prominently on the banks of the Danube at the same town hall square. What is special here are the flood markings on the outer wall,which amaze you. The last major flood of the city and at the same time the heaviest flood since 500 (!) years was in May/June 2013. The level of the Danube has reached the historic mark of 12.89 meters and has completely paralyzed the city. At the time of year, a level of 4.50 meters would have been normal. Where people walk through the old town today, 4 years ago there was only water and mud. Really unimaginable. It took a whole 4 years (that is to say to this day) to rebuild and restore Passau almost as it was before the floods – this was reported by a tour guide to a group that we had passed during our city tour.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral with the largest cathedral organ in the world
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the Bishop’s Church of Passau, which was rebuilt in 1668 and is still the episcopal seat and main church of the Diocese of Passau. The Cathedral of St. Stephen is one of the largest baroque and most important church buildings in Germany and stands at the highest point of the old town of Passau. What is special about this cathedral is on the one hand the very large baroque interior and on the other hand the largest cathedral organ in the world with 17,974 pipes and 233 registers. We have to admit that the organ did not necessarily seem much larger to us than those in other church buildings that we have already seen.
The Three River Corner
From here we walked through the small winding cobblestone lanes to the Drei-Flüsse-Eck, the headland of Passau’s old town. Where the Danube, Ilz and Inn converge. Especially with the super nice, sunny weather, this is a great place to linger a bit and walk along the shore. Here you can also see the different colors of the rivers. At the Inn promenade we walked past the Schaiblingsturm – back on the way back to the old town.
Other sights in the old town of Passau
At the end of our “sightseeing program” we walked across the city again and were able to capture some more sights with the camera.
Shortly before our train left, we ate something in the city gallery and covered ourselves with provisions for the journey home. A great journey is coming to an end and we are heading home with an incredible number of new impressions and hundreds of photos in our luggage 🙂
All travelogues from our Donau River CruiseA-ROSA offers various river cruises on the Danube with different durations and destinations depending on the season. We had deliberately chosen the 7-day route "Danube Classic - On calm waters through the waves of European history", as this route connects the big metropolises (with sufficient mooring time), natural highlights and UNESCO world heritage sites - a perfect combination for us. The route with the "A-ROSA Bella" took us from Engelhartszell, via Vienna, Esztergom, Budapest, Bratislava and Melk back to Engelhartszell and Passau.
» Austria: Vienna – Tourist Attractions, Things to do & Photo spots
» Austriah: Vienna – Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace & Prater
» Hungary: Danube Knee, Esztergom, Visegrid and Szentendre
» Hungary: Budapest – Travel Guide & beautiful photo spots at night
» Hungary: Budapest – Tourist Attractions & Things to do on the Buda site
» Hungary: Budapest – Tourist Attractions & Things to do on the Pest side
» Slowakia: Bratislava – Tourist Attractions, Things to do & Photo spots
» Austria: Wachau – World Heritage Site on the Danube & Melk Abbey
» Germany: Passau - Tourist Attractions, Things to do & Photo spots