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Passau Altstadt

Worth visiting

Added on 13 Nov 2011,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 20 Jan 2021



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Type of sights

Old town


Name and address

Passau Altstadt

DE-94032 Passau


Geodetic coordinates

48.574410 13.466960


307 m


Passau, old town on the river Inn
Passau, old town on the river Inn

Passau is a small city in Bavaria, Germany, close to the Austrian border.


Passau has a population of around 50,000, and an additional 8,000 when university is active. The city is situated at the point where the river Inn and the river Ilz meet the Danube (Donau), and therefore is often called the "Three River City" (Dreiflüssestadt). It is located approx. 2,000 km (1,200 mi) upstream from the estuary of the Danube, at the Austrian border, and enjoys a small but thriving local tourist trade.

The area of Passau was first settled by the Celts, who were living in southern Bavaria ages before the Romans came and founded a fortress here because of the excellent strategic position of the peninsula of Passau. Later on, the fortress grew and Passau became a real city. Much of the money in the city was made from the salt trade with nearby Bohemia (in the present-day Czech Republic), with the salt coming from Bad Reichenhall near Salzburg. In the middle ages, Passau's Saint Stephen's Cathedral was the head of the regional church district, which extended all the way to Hungary. Most of the old buildings have survived to this day and are still in active use.

Nowadays, Passau is known for its historic buildings, its university, and its location at the three rivers, and for the last German train station before Austria. Like much of Bavaria, it's also predominantly Catholic. If you look very closely, however, you can spot Protestant churches.

Most tourists arriving in Passau are on river cruises along the Danube, but there are also many buses that arrive here from all over Germany and Austria. Because Passau is not far from the Czech Republic and Austria, you will meet also a lot of Austrians and Czechs here to work or shop. Although most tourists are native German speakers, you will get around town without much of a problem with only English, given the large number of students.


  • Fortress Veste Oberhaus (Veste Oberhaus), Oberhaus 125,  +49 851 396800. Mar-Nov M-F 9:00-17:00 & Sa-Su 10:00-18:00. The fortress was built in 1219 by Passau's Prince-Bishops in order to control commerce across the rivers. During the Napoleonic Wars the castle was one of the strongholds against the Austrians (Bavaria sided with Napoleon at the beginning of the war). Due to several changes over the centuries today's castle consists of gothic, renaissance and baroque parts. Today the fortress houses a museum focussing on the history of Passau and its surroundings. It also offers one of the best views over the city and the confluence of the rivers. Adults: €5, Concessions: €4. 
  • Glass Museum (Glasmuseum), Schrottgasse 4,  +49 851 35071. 13:00-17:00. The museum focuses on the most important era of glass manufacturing from 1650-1950 with exhibits from Baroque, Rococo, Art Noveau, Art Deco, and Modernism. Friedrich Dürrenmatt once called it the world's most beautiful glass house. Adults: €7, Concessions: €5.
  • Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus), Bahnhofstraße 28,  +49 851 955980. Mar-Oct M-F 9:00-17:00 & Sa-Su 10:30-15:30, Nov-Feb M-F 9:00-16:00 & Sa 10:30-15:30. The Old Town Hall was completed 1405 in Venetian style and has ever since kept its design. The interior is designed in a baroque style. It still houses parts of the city administration. 
  • St. Michael's Church (Jesuitenkirche St. Michael), Schustergasse,  +49 851 955980. Mar-Sep M-F 9:00-17:00 & Sa-Su 10:30-15:30, Oct-Feb M-Th 9:00-17:00 & F 9:00-16:00 Sa 10:30-15:30. This baroque church on the river banks gives Passau its typical looks of an Italian town. The church was completed in 1678 and is one of the main centres of the Jesuits in the region. free. 
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral, Residenzplatz 8,  +49 851 3930. 7:00-18:00. The cathedral is a baroque building, finished in 1688, but the earliest church on the site was already mentioned in 450. It is the center of the Bishopric of Passau, which during the Holy Roman Empire extended as far as Hungary and was the Empire's largest diocese. St. Stephen's is the largest baroque cathedrals north of the Alps and has the biggest cathedral organ in the world. From May to October there are organ recital every day (besides Sunday) at noon and evening concerts every Thursday at 19:30. free. 
  • Three Rivers Conjunction Point (Dreiflüsseeck), Ortsspitze. Fom the so called Ortsspitze ("Tip of the Town") at the eastern end of the old town you have the immediate view of the confluence of the three rivers, Danube, Inn, and Ilz. 


Inside the range of 4 km:


Inside the range of 4 km:

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Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Passau', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 11 September 2016, 11:41 UTC, [accessed 28 September 2016]

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28 Sep 2016 - 20 Jan 2021

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