Passau is the smallest of our Top Ten German Cities, but it has much to offer senior travellers and well deserves its inclusion in our top ten list. Its many historic churches are a particular feature of the city.
Like Koblenz, Passau is also a confluence city, but in this case of three rivers, the Danube from the west, the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north.
From our hotel in the centre of the city, we took a pleasant riverside walk east along the River Inn, with impressive views of St Gertraud’s Church to the south of the river. This took us past the picturesque St Michael’s Church and the 13th Century Schaibling Tower, to the Dreiflüsseeck, the scenic grassy headland overlooking where the three rivers swirl together.
You can also see this point from the Veste Oberhaus fortress, which offers great views over the city. It’s a steep fifteen minute walk up from the Old Town to the Oberhaus, passing the lower fortress, the Veste Niederhaus, along the way. Less nimble seniors may opt to drive up.
About ten minutes walk west from the Dreiflüsseeck through the Old Town, following narrow cobbled passageways like the Höllgasse (also known as the Artists’ Alley) and Kleine Messergasse, took us to the massive Baroque St Stephan’s Cathedral with its magnificent pipe organ, the largest in Europe. Nearby is the oldest church in Passau, St Paul’s, which was founded in 1050.
For something a bit different, call in to the Passau Glass Museum at the corner of Höllgasse opposite the Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall). This has the world’s largest collection of European glass, with over 30,000 exhibits, which trace the evolution of glassmaking from Baroque through Art Deco to modern designs.
Perched on a hill to the south of the Old Town across the River Inn is the Baroque Church of Mariahilf, adjacent to the Monastery of St Paul. It is reached via 321 covered steps. Quite a climb, but well worth the effort for the views back over the Old Town.
POSTED 19th FEBRUARY 2021 by STEVE HANSON. The photographs were taken by BARBARA HANSON.