Cities & Culture

A Baroque treasure in the here and now: Passau

Passau: Danube and Liutpold bridge ©Lookphotos (Arthur F. Selbach)

Pretty little lanes and beautiful squares: Passau, the City of Three Rivers, boasts so much to discover in the way of art and architecture, great places to eat and drink as well as fantastic places to party, shop, stroll and relax.

Framed by the Veste Oberhaus fortress to the north and the Mariahilf pilgrimage church to the south, this breathtakingly beautiful town is dominated by the buildings of Italian architects. Towering majestically above Passau is the imposing Baroque St. Stephen's Cathedral, the mother church of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna that contains the largest cathedral organ in the world. Today, Passau is an exciting tapestry of old and new – a place that is modern and welcoming with many great traditions. Nowhere does this shine through more strongly than in the pedestrianised streets leading from the Old Town to Neue Mitte with its high-end shops.

It is also worth taking a detour to Höllgasse, the artists' mile in Passau's Old Town, where the beautiful old buildings are occupied by studios, workshops and galleries. The market held there twice weekly is a feast for the senses – as are the wood markets at Christmas. This rich diversity of shops is mirrored by the great choice of food, with local pubs and inns offering the best of Bavarian and Austrian cuisine. As you can see, there aren't many compelling reasons to want to leave Passau – except, perhaps, for a cruise on the beautiful Danube.

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