Passau is in Germany on the edge of Bavaria only a few miles fro Austria. The Danube is joined here by two other rivers–the Inn and the Ilz:
Our first morning was foggy and mysterious–this is on the Inn River:
Passau’s population is 50,000. It principally survives on tourism. Its claim to fame is St Stephen’s Cathedral — in and out of fog:
The bishop of this town used to run the entire region through his army. Yes, I said army. There was a period of time when the pope and his bishops were leaders of armies. This bishop ruled with an iron fist. This is a painting of the bishop and some of his cohorts:
He had a castle across the Danube which he periodically had to retreat to when the townspeople rebelled against his rule. He’d order his troops to shoot boulders and flaming arrows in the midst of the crowds until they disbanded.
But, back to St Stephens. This large baroque edifice is, of course, beautiful (ugh) inside:
But it’s most spectacular offering and true claim to fame is its massive organ built in 1733. It has 17,774 pipes making it the largest in Europe — second largest in the world — there is one bigger located in Los Angeles:
Some of its pipes measure several meters — one pipe that is less than five inches in size. The larger the pipe the louder and deeper the sound. The smallest pipe plays so high it can be difficult to discern.
Later in day I was able to attend a concert in the cathedral. The organist played five pieces including Bach’s Toccata in Fugue in D minor — a musical piece well known to many from the Disney film “Fantasia”. It was, dare I say, heavenly.
The town truly survives on tourism–this means lots food to munch on:
lots of quaint museums like the Dachshund or Dackel Museum.
Don’t you love the proprietor’s love green pants:
These were in the museum shop:
What good would a tourist stop be without a character to view:
This is a photo from the 1930’s:
What tourist haven!
On to Prague!!