Passau (German pronunciation: [ˈpasaʊ]' Austro-Bavarian: Båssa) is
a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the
Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the
Passau by the Inn from the south and the
Ilz from the north.
Passau's population is 50,000 of whom about 12,000 are students at the
local University of Passau. It is renowned in
Germany for its
institutes of economics, law, theology, computer science and cultural
3 Main sights
4 Migrant entry point
5 Twin towns/sister cities
6 Notable people
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
In the 2nd century BC, many of the
Boii tribe were pushed north across
the Alps out of northern
Italy by the Romans. They established a new
capital called Boiodurum by the Romans (from Gaulish Boioduron), now
within the Innstadt district of Passau.
Passau was an ancient Roman colony of ancient Noricum called Batavis,
Latin for "for the Batavi." The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe
often mentioned by classical authors, and they were regularly
associated with the Suebian marauders, the Heruli.
During the second half of the 5th century, St. Severinus established a
monastery here. In 739, an English monk called
Boniface founded the
diocese of Passau, which for many years was the largest diocese of the
German Kingdom/Holy Roman Empire, covering territory in southern
Bavaria and most of what is now Upper and Lower Austria. From the 10th
century the bishops of
Passau also exercised secular authority as
Prince-Bishops in the immediate area around
Prince-Bishopric of Passau (de)).
Passau c. 1581
In the Treaty of
Passau (1552), Archduke Ferdinand I, representing
Emperor Charles V, secured the agreement of the
Protestant princes to
submit the religious question to a diet. This led to the Peace of
Augsburg in 1555.
Renaissance and early modern period,
Passau was one of the
most prolific centres of sword and bladed weapon manufacture in
Germany (after Solingen).
Passau smiths stamped their blades with the
Passau wolf, usually a rather simplified rendering of the wolf on the
city's coat-of-arms. Superstitious warriors believed that the Passau
wolf conferred invulnerability on the blade's bearer, and thus Passau
swords acquired a great premium. According to the Donau-Zeitung, aside
from the wolf, some cabalistic signs and inscriptions were added.
As a result, the whole practice of placing magical charms on swords to
protect the wearers came to be known for a time as "
Passau art". (See
Eduard Wagner, Cut and Thrust Weapons, 1969.) Other cities' smiths,
including those of Solingen, recognized the marketing value of the
Passau wolf and adopted it for themselves. By the 17th century,
Solingen was producing more wolf-stamped blades than
In 1662, a devastating fire consumed most of the city.
subsequently rebuilt in the Baroque style.
Passau was secularised and divided between the Electorate of Bavaria
Electorate of Salzburg
Electorate of Salzburg in 1803. The portion belonging to
Salzburg became part of
Bavaria in 1805.
From 1892 until 1894,
Adolf Hitler and his family lived in Passau.
The city archives mention Hitler being in
Passau on four different
occasions in the 1920s for speeches. On November 3, 1902 Heinrich
Himmler and his family arrived from Munich. They lived at
Theresienstraße 394 (currently Theresienstraße 22) until September
2, 1904. Himmler maintained contact with locals until May 1945.
In November 1933, the building of Nibelungenhalle (Hall of the
Nibelungs) was announced. Intended to hold 8,000 to 10,000 guests, and
another 30,000 in front of it, in 1935 the hall also became quarters
for a unit of the Austrian Legion. Beginning in 1934, these troops
had occupied a building that belonged to Sigmund Mandl, a Jewish
merchant. That building, in turn, was referred to as SA barracks.
Beginning in 1940,
Passau offered the building at Bräugasse 13 to
During World War II, the town also housed three sub-camps of the
infamous Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp:
Passau II (Waldwerke Passau-Ilzstadt) and Passau
On May 3, 1945, a message from Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart’s
261st Infantry Regiment stated at 3:15 am: "AMG Officer has
unconditional surrender of PASSAU signed by Burgermeister, Chief of
Police and Lt. Col of Med Corps there. All troops are to turn
themselves in this morning."
It was the site of a post World War II American sector displaced
High-water scale 1501-2002 at
Passau as of September 2012
On June 2, 2013 the old town suffered from severe flooding as a result
of several days of rain and its location at the confluence of three
rivers  Peak elevations of floods as early as 1501 are displayed
on a wall at the Old City Hall. Flood water reaches the base of
that wall on average once every 5 years.:19
Areas of open council in Passau
Until 2013, the City of
Passau was subdivided into eight statistical
districts, which in general coincide with formerly separate
municipalities. Since 2013, the city is divided in 16 so-called areas
of open council ("Bürgerversammlungsgebiete").
Passau focuses mainly on the three rivers, the St.
Stephen's Cathedral (Der Passauer Stephansdom) and the "Old City" (Die
Altstadt). With 17,774 pipes and 233 registers, the organ at St.
Stephen's was long held to be the largest church pipe organ in the
world and is today second in size only to the organ at First
Congregational Church, Los Angeles, which was expanded in 1994. Organ
concerts are held daily between May and September. St.Stephen's is a
true masterpiece of Italian Baroque, built by Italian architect Carlo
Lurago and decorated in part by Carpoforo Tencalla. Many river cruises
Danube start at
Passau and there is a cycling path all the
way down to Vienna. It is also notable for its gothic and baroque
architecture. The town is dominated by the
Veste Oberhaus and the
former fortress of the Bishop, on the mountain crest between the
Danube and the Ilz. Right beside the town hall is the
Scharfrichterhaus, an important jazz and cabaret stage on which
political cabaret is performed.
Passau from the Veste Oberhaus. In front the of Danube
Passau from the South. In front of the Inn
Migrant entry point
Due to its location on the German-Austrian border, and in the
south-east of the country,
Passau has become a major migrant entry
point into Germany. Refugees and economic migrants from the Middle
East, Asia and Africa who have reached Europe, often entering either
overland via Greece or across the sea via the
Operation Triton), then head north and sometimes enter Germany. In
BBC reported that traffickers drive migrants and refugees
Austria and leave them on the side of the autobahn. The
migrants and refugees then often walk unaccompanied into Passau, the
first German town northwards. This situation has caused the government
Passau to divert funds from flood prevention to housing and feeding
the refugees and migrants, around 10% of whom are unaccompanied
Twin towns/sister cities
Passau has 9 Twin towns/sister cities:
Hackensack, New Jersey, US, since 1952
Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, since 1973
Krems an der Donau, Austria, since 1974
Akita, Japan, since 1984
Málaga, Spain, since 1987
České Budějovice, Czech Republic, since 1993
Liuzhou, People's Republic of China, since 1999
Veszprém, Hungary, since 1999
Montecchio Maggiore, Italy, since 2003
Michael Ammermüller (born 1986), a race car driver.
Joseph Ferdinand Damberger (1795–1859), historian.
Alfred Dick (1927–2005), a Bavarian politician.
Hans Fruhstorfer (1866–1922), explorer, insect trader and
entomologist, born in Passau.
Albert Ganzenmüller (1905–1996), who served from 1942 to 1945 as
the state secretary of the Reich Transportation Ministry, born in
Henry Gerber (1892−1972), early U.S. gay rights activist, born in
Adolf Hitler and his family,
Passau residents for two years from 1892
Nicolaus A. Huber (born 1939), composer.
Bruno Jonas (born 1952), a cabaret artist and actor.
Joseph Maximilian Ritter von Maillinger (1820–1901), Bavarian
general and war minister, born in Passau.
Gottlieb Muffat (1690–1770), organist and composer.
Anna Rosmus (born 1960), controversial German author, Third Reich
Christian Rub (1886–1956), actor, born in Passau.
Ludwig Schmidseder (1904–1971), composer and pianist.
Heidi Schüller (born 1950), a West German athlete.
Florian Silbereisen (born 1981), German singer and television
Georg Philipp Wörlen (1886–1954), painter.
University of Passau
^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt
für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). January 2018.
^ Wir über uns Archived 2007-12-13 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Collis, John. The Celts: Origins, Myth and Inventions. Tempus
Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7524-2913-2
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 201
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 20f
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 98-101
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 102f
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 241ff
Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 207f
^ a b Eychaner, J.H. (2015) Lessons from a 500-year record of flood
elevations Association of State Floodplain Managers, Technical Report
7 URL accessed 2015-07-31.
^ "Städtepartnerschaften". passau.de. Archived from the original on 5
January 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on
2009-12-11. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
Huber, Gerald: Kleine Geschichte Niederbayerns. 2., überarbeitete und
ergänzte Auflage. Friedrich Pustet,
Wagner, Christoph: Entwicklung, Herrschaft und Untergang der
nationalsozialistischen Bewegung in
Passau 1920 bis 1945. Frank &
Timme, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-86596-117-4, Passau, Universität,
Weithmann, Michael W.: Kleine Passauer Stadtgeschichte. Friedrich
Regensburg 2004, ISBN 3-7917-1870-3.
John M. Jeep, ed. (2001). "Passau". Medieval Germany: an Encyclopedia.
Garland Publishing. ISBN 0-8240-7644-3.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Passau.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Passau.
Official website (in German)
Passau Wiki (in German)
Passau at Flickr
Passau Cathedral, which is famous for its organ with 17,774 pipes and
233 registers - the biggest church organ on Earth - Zoomable map and
satellite overview (Google Maps).
First stop for new arrivals in Germany: bureaucracy (My Way news,
September 16th, 2015)
Urban and rural districts in the Free State of
Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim
Neustadt an der Waldnaab
List of islands in the Danube
List of crossings of the Danube