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PASSAU – The Three-River-City

With its beautiful city centre and surrounding landscape, Passau is one of the most impressing and fascinating cities in Germany. Passau is called the Three-River-City because it is located at the confluence of Danube (from the west), Ilz (from the north) and Inn (from the south) which form the so called Tree-Rivers-Corner. Together they continue to flow eastward as Danube.

Passau has been a Bavarian city for over 200 years now. It is located directly on the border with Austria. The name Passau is derived from the Roman fortification “Batavis”. In the 8th century, Passau became an Episcopal seat and from the 13th century on for more than 600 years an independent prince bishopric. Today more than 50.000 inhabitants live in Passau. For 4 decades, Passau has been developing into an important administration, business and culture centre in Eastern Bavaria and since 1993 it has become a regional centre based on the fact that the University of Passau was founded in 1978.

In the Old Town of Passau you can find picturesque squares, romantic promenades and enchanting allys. Majestically, the fortress “Veste Oberhaus” and the church “Maria Hilf” throne high above the city.

Thanks to its ideal location on three rivers, Passau is a paradise for hikers and bicyclists. The city is connected to several hiking and biking paths such as the Danube Cycle Path (Passau-Vienna) or the Inn-Salzach Cycle Path (Passau-Salzburg-Tauern and Passau-Innquelle (CH)).  



In 1219 the first prince-bishop Ulrich II. began building the fortress. Now the building contains elements from Gohic, Renaissance and Baroque. Until 1803, the prince-bishops used the fortress to demonstrate their worldly power. Nowadays, the “Veste Oberhaus” houses the city's Museum of Culture and History. A magnificent view of the Old Town of Passau and the Three-Rivers-Corner awaits the visitors.



In the historic centre of Passau there are nooks and crannies, squares and churches, towers and bourgeois houses and nice promenades along the river shores. Where Danube, Inn and Ilz meet and continue as one, you can see the three different colours of water and enjoy a beautiful spectacle of nature.

Town Hall

The main hall was built in the 15th century. After the town fire in 1662, the hall was rebuilt in Baroque style by the famous cathedral builders Lurago and Carlone. The paintings inside were made around 1890. Outside on the northern wall there is a remarkable huge fresco as well as flood marks.



The former prince-bishops residence now houses treasures of the diocese’s memorable past. Things worth seeing include the Rococo stairway and the Museum of the Diocese as well as the prince-bishops’ Ceremonial room.



After the devastating town fire of 1662, the Gothic cathedral was almost completely destroyed. Only the choir, dome and transept survived the fire. Thereafter it was rebuilt in Italian - Baroque style. It houses the world’s biggest cathedral organ, consisting of five individual organs with 17,974 organ pipes and 233 stops.



High above Passau’s quarter “Innstadt” thrones the Baroque pilgrimage church “Maria Hilf”. Roofed stairs with 321 steps lead to the church which is a pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary and therefor still very important. If you walk up to the church, you have a great view of the so called “Italian” side of Passau.


Passau is the ideal starting point for exploring the region's numerous attractions such as spas, golf courses, cycling and hiking paths or historical sights. Western City Pullman, Bavarian Forest Open-air Museum and National Park, Baumkronenweg Kopfing are some of the most popular attractions. Castles, churches and monasteries, lakes, rivers, mountains and forests form the landscape around Passau.


Would you like to experience a lot and at the same time safe money?
The Passau-Card all-inclusive allows you to enjoy your holiday without having to pay for each attraction individually.
Explore the regions Passauer Land, Upper Austria and Southern Bohemia and let the beautiful towns and landscapes enchant you.

All advantages at a glance:

Free use of public transportation

Event calendar

 Free access to the following attractions:

  • Thermal baths Bad Füssing
  • Or Thermal bath Bad Griesbach i. Rottal
  • Or Europe’s biggest Golf Course in  Bad Griesbach i. Rottal
  • Thermal bath Rottal Terme® Bad Birnbach
  • Museums and exhibitions
  • Amusement parks
  • Oberhausmuseum
  • Abbey Asbach
  • Three-River shipping tour  in Passau or a romantical shipping tour on the Inn
  • Brewery Aldersbach

…and many other sport activities in the region

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