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.
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.
The Danube Bike Path is a European long-distance cycle route, that begins further upstream the river, but the section between Passau and Vienna is the the most travelled by far. The surface and signage along the route is very good and there are many places that invite the cyclist to stop and have a wine or beer.
The University of Passau is well known in Germany for its law degree and the international business programmes. There are German as a foreign courses at the university, as well as other external pay-for courses. Studying at a university in general is free in Germany - that includes all foreigners.
Only 100 m from the central station and right next to the river Danube and the Danube Bike Path, this relatively inexpensive hotel is very convenient for cyclists, for which the hotel offers special services. The hotel is only open during the warmer month from May to November.
At the market place of the Hals district of Passau, a little outside of town, there is a reproduced pillory, a mediaeval form of punishment in which people were exhibited, secured by their hands and neck, to be publicly humiliated and taunted by passers-by.
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.
The campsite is right next to the river Ilz and has its own jetty. It is open from the beginning of May to the end September. Because of the narrow roads, it is not possible to bring motorhomes or caravans.
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.
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.
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.
The hotel is in a listed building which was built in 1512. Free wireless internet access throughout the hotel and authentic on-site dining at Restaurant Weisser Hase.
Housed in the fortress ''Veste Oberhaus'', this hostel is probably the cheapest accommodation option in town, and certainly the one with the best view over town.
A beautiful mediaeval city at the shores of the river Danube. Its historical city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety.
Austia's third largest city lacks the picturesque charm of Salzburg or the imperial grandeur of Vienna, but has a number of draws.
The small city to the west of Passau is one of the most important destinations of Catholic pilgrimage in Europe.
Passau has two beer festivals, one in May and one in September, that last one week each.
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.