St. Stephen’s Cathedral
An impressive religious site nestled into the heart of Passau, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is renowned as one of most beautiful churches found anywhere in Europe. It has been the site of a church since the year 730, although the current baroque styled-building was constructed between 1668 and 1693 after it predecessor was destroyed by fire in 1662.
Its claim to fame is its organ, which has been developed over many years to become the largest cathedral organ in the world with over 17,000 pipes and 233 registers – all of which can be played through the five-manual general console. If you’re lucky enough to pay a visit while the organ is being played, be sure to take a break and enjoy the beautiful sounds.
For a chance to indulge in some real German history, take a trip up the mountain to Veste Oberhaus. Founded in 1219, this fortress on the crest of the mountain at St. Georgsberg once served as a stronghold of the Bishop of Passau to support his status as an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The fact that it lies 105 metres above the River Danube means that it offer stunning views across the city and the Ilz – a tributary of the Danube.
The site was attacked on five occasions between 1250 and 1482, with each attempt being unsuccessful. These attacks led to a number of renovations and extensions, meaning that visitors can enjoy a number of different architectural styles from a gothic citadel to a princely renaissance residence. Today, the history can be discovered through the highly praised on-site museum. If you are looking to make the most of your visit, be sure to download this handy Passau city map before you depart on your river cruise break.
Passau Glass Museum
As well as its many examples of fine architecture, Passau is also home to the world’s largest collection of European glass. The Passau Glass Museum features around 30,000 exhibits and the incredible attention to detail found in the pieces on display there never fails to amaze. Opened back in 1985 by Neil Armstrong, the museum presents everything from baroque and rococo to art nouveau and art deco. To learn more about the glass museum, click here to visit its official website.
Image Credit: Frans16611 (Flickr.com)